Representations of Non-European World in Educational System: Textbooks as an Actor of Ethnocentric and Racist Socialization
The intention of this paper is to determine how the educational system as a significant actor in the socialization process generates ethno-/Eurocentric standpoints respectively, and racist representations of “the other”. The article is methodologically based on the social-historical and comparative method of selected theories from the research field of ethno-/Eurocentrism and racism and their reproduction in educational discourse. The author states that geography and history textbooks frequently enable the defining of potentially possible and above all exceedingly plausible situations, which leads to negative, Eurocentric and racist conclusions about Non-Europeans and migrants. This can be achieved by means of particular linguistic strategies, selection of illustrative material, and especially at the level of content and broader textual context.
KEY WORDS: ethnocentrism, racism, ideology, textbooks, Non-Europeans
REPRESENTATIONS OF THE NON-EUROPEAN WORLD IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM: TEXTBOOKS AS AN ACTOR OF ETHNOCENTRIC AND RACIST SOCIALIZATION
The article discusses a question of the ideological procedure of forming meanings in the field of production, distribution and consumption of images of the ethnic “Other” through language. The main focus is on processes of socialization in a broader sense and the educational system as one of the “ideological state apparatuses” in a narrower sense. (Ethnic) identities as social forms are an ideological concept in the historical process of cultural constitution, therefore educational discourse – as well as mass media – can act as an important generator of stereotypical, negative, as well as discriminatory and racist representations of other ethnic groups and non-European, immigrant and minority groups in particular. While there is a considerable amount of literature in the field of mass media research, the educational system – at least in Slovenia – remains a relatively weakly examined area. However, children’s and school books, geography and history textbooks in particular, consistently express ethnocentric and Eurocentric standpoints, stereotypical images and even racist discourse, or at least enable the defining of potentially possible and above all exceedingly plausible situations, which leads to negative, Eurocentric and racist conclusions about non-Europeans and immigrants. This can be achieved by means of particular linguistic strategies on the semantic level, selection of illustrative material, and especially at the level of contents and wider textual context.
Text is published on SLO pages.