History Wars in Sweden?

Johan Samuelsson

Abstract


History teaching and learning in schools has been the subject of history culture wars in countries such as Sweden, Australia, the US, and Canada. In a Swedish-specific context, this and similar debates should be viewed in relation to the fact that throughout the twentieth century, governments in Sweden, as well as other countries, have regarded history teaching in schools as an important builder of national consciousness. At the same time, Sweden has undergone substantial demographic changes in recent decades. This article analyzes the different perspectives put forward in a debate on the school subject of history in Swedish education as a new syllabus was being introduced. Seixas’ approaches to history are used in the analysis.  The debate was initiated by historians who criticized the syllabus for the absence of the period of Antiquity. Leading politicians also participated. The collective memory approach was a central perspective on history in schools in the debate.  


Keywords


History Wars; Social Studies Wars; Identity; Nation; Curriculum

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Copyright (c) 2017 Johan Samuelsson


Historical Encounters is a double blind peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the empirical and theoretical study of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and history education.

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