I historiekanons skugga : historieämne och identifikationsformering i 2000-talets mångkulturella samhälle
Sammanfattning: Sweden has on various occasions been described as a multicultural society. So-called multicultural social change has resulted in numerous implications regarding attitudes in respect of history as a subject taught at upper secondary schools. The aim of this study is to problematise the relationship between students' (ethnic) identification and their view of history as a subject. The study focuses on the affects of history teaching on the students' perception of ethnic identification. On the basis of interviews with students, teachers as well as authors of history textbooks I analyse attitudes regarding the content and aim of history as a school subject as well as student's understanding of their ethnic identification. In addition I ask what the aim of history teaching in so-called multicultural societies is, discussing what kind of historical knowledge the interviewees regard as relevant and studying processes of identification. Consequently, I attempt to show what is expected of history as a subject in order for it to be accepted as both applicable and significant within a so-called multicultural social context.
Many students want to learn about the history of their parents' country of birth, regarding it as a part of their identification. According to many students, prevalent history is Eurocentric, disregarding the importance of other cultures. Despite this, the importance of transmitting knowledge about Swedish and Western European history is widely articulated. Students' views regarding the content and aim of history are affected by aspects such as, a global economy, the media's impact on their world-view, their food-habits, their common generational experiences, their plans to travel and study abroad. Moreover, students are affected by visits to and contact with their parents' country of birth, their parents' world-views, their own complex ethnic identification, their relationships with their friends as well as where they are geographically.
In addition, I examine how emigration from Sweden between 1850 and 1930 and post war immigration to the country have been depicted. The latter is based on selected history and civics textbooks, all published in Sweden between 1962 and 2007. By and large, textbooks construct a ‘we group’, which is described as culturally different from the ‘them group’ (immigrants), that is to say those who are discursively constructed as a group which deviates from the cultural norms that are regarded as dominant and universal for Swedish society.
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