Post-Colonial Reading: Cultural Representations of Ethnicity and National Identity in English Textbooks for Swedish Upper Secondary School

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Post-Colonial Reading: Cultural Representations of Ethnicity and National Identity in English Textbooks for Swedish Upper Secondary School

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Publication Student thesis
Title Post-Colonial Reading: Cultural Representations of Ethnicity and National Identity in English Textbooks for Swedish Upper Secondary School
Author(s) Olsson, Fredrik
Date 2008
English abstract
The aim of this study is to examine if English textbooks offer a cultural perspective of the English-speaking world in accordance with Swedish ordinances and recent research. The research question is: How is the English-speaking world culturally represented in English textbooks for Swedish upper secondary school course A in terms of ethnicity and national identity? The study comprises four textbooks from 2000 or later. The analysis is carried out within the framework of post-colonial theory. Four aspects are focused on: the ideological point of view, the representation of ethnicity, the representation of national identity and how these issues correspond to the ordinances. The results display that the books contain almost no biased stereotypes and that they fulfil several, if not always all, of the requirements of the English syllabus. All books include texts that provide balanced information about the ways of living, the cultural traditions and the historical conditions of a few selected countries. There are also exercises and activities that encourage intercultural understanding. However, the focus is mainly on the West and the view of culture is remarkably often based on national and monolithic assumptions. In particular, the positive values of cultural and ethnic diversity are still not fully acknowledged. In order to develop international solidarity and greater understanding and tolerance of other people, a higher degree of post-colonial and diasporic writing is needed. Above all, cultural issues have to be allowed to imbue the entire material.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Lärarutbildningen
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) English textbooks
culture
ethnicity
national identity
post-colonialism
upper secondary school
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/5453 (link to this page)

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