Myth, Identity, and Conflict: A Comparative Analysis of Romanian and Serbian History Textbooks by Anamaria Dutceac Segesten is an examination of how history and politics became entangled in Romania and Serbia. In it, Dutceac Segesten asks questions like: Is myth present in the history textbooks of Romania and Serbia? If so, are there differences in the ways these myths define the in-group and the relationship with the Other between a country that experienced interethnic conflict (Serbia) and a country that did not (Romania)? Do textbooks affect the odds that conflict will occur?
Dutceac Segesten's findings confirm the presence of mythologized versions of the past in the history textbooks of both countries over the entire fifteen-year period studied (1992-2007), despite claims for professionalization of textbook-making. Myths of noble origins, of heroism and victimhood, appear in both cases. Dutceac Segesten finds the language to be ideological and in favor of the ethnic majority, even if over time there is a slow tendency toward moderation (especially in Romania), probably due to the influence of the European Union. Ultimately, Myth, Identity, and Conflict questions the alleged power of history textbooks to make a difference in ethnically divided societies prone to conflicts.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
1 Introduction 1
2 The History Textbook in Context 17
3 Education, Conflict, and Ethnic Identity 37
4 Myth 73
5 Romanian National Myths 87
6 Serbian National Myths 97
7 Common Myths to Serbia and Romania 107
8 Myths in Textbooks 125
9 Representation of the Self 159
10 Representation of the Other 217
11 Conclusion 241