The Distance between Birth and Nationality: The Mediation of an Ethnocentric Imagination

By Yannis Pechtelidis.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this article I examine how history teaching in Greek elementary school contributes to the construction of a certain “regime of truth”. In particular, I examine the internal ideological regime of this discourse; specific narratives and the ways that determine the “authenticity” of the national citizen produce ‘truth’. Mostly I am interested in the ideological axiomatic connection of birth with a stable territory such as language and culture, ground and history. In this context, I address certain questions such as: how do narratives or representations in school history create an essential and transcendental connection between ‘blood-ground-culture and language’? How is the ‘homeland’-as-concept hypostatized on these grounds? How does an ethnocentric imagination attempt to bridge the chasm between natural life and national identity? How is a kind of sovereignty produced through the establishment of a symbolic continuity of the natural and ethical-social world? How does the articulation of sovereignty and democracy correlate with patriotism? In the fist part of the essay I examine how ethnocentric imaginary is developed through history teaching, and how the concepts of ‘body’ and ‘citizenship’ are articulated within this framework. Thereupon, I analyze how bodies are constructed through this ethnocentric discourse, mostly drawing examples from history as a school subject. Finally, I examine whether the construction of national identity is compatible with the aims of a democratic pluralistic education.

Keywords: Ethnocentric Imagination, Discourse, Subjectivity, National Identity, Deconstruction, Democratic Pluralistic Education

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.331-340. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 619.726KB).

Dr. Yannis Pechtelidis

Lecturer, Early Childhood Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Thessaly, Greece

I am a Lecturer in Sociology of Education at the University of Thessaly where I teach sociology of childhood, social theory, sociology and sociology of education. My work is focused on pupils resistance to school formal power and culture, the social construction of children's identities, discourse theory and analysis, gender and sexuality.

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