School History Atlases as an Instrument of Nation-State Making and Maintenance: A Remark on the Invisibility of Ideology in Popular Education

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Abstract

School history atlases are used almost exclusively as required textbooks in Central and Eastern Europe, where the model of the ethnolinguistic nation-state rules supreme. My hypothesis is that these atlases are used in this region because a graphic presentation of the past makes it possible for students to grasp the idea of the presumably "natural" or "inescapable" overlapping of historical, linguistic, and demographic borders, the striving for which produced the present-day ethnolinguistic nation-states. Conversely, school history atlases provide a framework to indoctrinate the student with the beliefs that ethnolinguistic nationalism is the sole correct kind of nationalism, and that the neighboring polities have time and again unjustly denied the "true and natural" frontiers to the student's nation-state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-138
JournalJournal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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