Förhistorien som kulturellt minne : historiekulturell förändring i svenska läroböcker 1903-2010

Sammanfattning: Scandinavian prehistory has hitherto received little attention in the field of history didactics. In Swedish schools, it is taught in the lower grades in accordance with traditional periodization: the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age and the Viking Age. The aim of the present thesis is to provide an overview of Scandinavian prehistory as presented by 20th- and early 21st-century history textbooks and to trace its development and revisions.These revisions are situated in relation to contemporary society and concurrent developments in archaeological research. This study attempts to demonstrate the extent to which history textbooks and archaeological research correspond. In a long-term perspective, the textbooks form a developmental chain in which the gradual revision of historical culture is made manifest.As presented in the textbooks, prehistoric history expresses a historical culture valid in the context of a particular era. The concept of cultural memory, a memory that extends so far back in history that it can only be mediated by someone with expert knowledge (e.g. teachers, journalists or scholars), is applied in order to observe changes in its description. Cultural memory reveals how some stories constantly recur, while others are neglected or forgotten.The textbooks have been compared to standard archaeological works and their development and revisions have been examined from dual perspectives - "story" as cultural memory and gender. The present thesis reveals that most of the stories have been remembered and repeated for more than a century, though interpretations sometimes change along with changes in society and progress in research. A gender perspective elucidates the chores and activities ascribed to prehistoric men and women, respectively, and the changes they have undergone. Although archaeological findings have been influenced by gender research, this study indicates that society itself has had the greatest impact on the treatment of gender in the textbooks. Perceptions of "male" and "female" have changed and women have been become visible after previously being as good as ignored.Both history textbooks and archaeological research are clearly affected by general trends in society and the textbooks under investigation have evolved from focusing on nationalistic aspects and the predominance of men to assigning equal value to people of all cultures and to the sexes.