Imagining the Turkish men and women: nationalism, modernism and militarism in primary school textbooks, 1928-2000
Kancı, Tuba (2008) Imagining the Turkish men and women: nationalism, modernism and militarism in primary school textbooks, 1928-2000. [Thesis]
By focusing on public education in general and textbooks in particular, this dissertation aims to provide insight into the formation and successive reconfigurations of national identity in Turkey. The research draws upon the primary school textbooks used in Turkey from 1928 to 2000. It analyzes the frameworks within which attempts have been made to (re)formulate the identities of the people, and seeks answers to the question of how the nation is ‘imagined.’ It is argued that public education is both one of the means and the loci used for imagining the national self, and that these imaginings, reflected in the textbooks, employ the discourses of nationalism, modernization and militarism interdependently, setting the boundaries of the national self in specific ways. As the transmitters of officially organized knowledge, textbooks are among the sources that can be studied in analyzing the political and social order, as well as the formation of the body-politic and selves. Thus, by concentrating on gender as the main axis of the research, this dissertation carries out discourse analysis of the textbooks used in primary education, which, by virtue of being compulsory, reflect mass education in Turkey. The research covers a lengthened period of time so as to uncover the shifting boundaries of national identity, the formulation of which was attempted through education. As textbooks are analyzed with respect to the discourses of nationalism, modernization and militarization, the ways these discourses design and delimit the imaginings of the national self are uncovered along with the dependencies between them.
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