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TitleKolonialismus und Befreiungskämpfe in aktuellen mosambikanischen Geschichtsschulbüchern
Other titlesColonialism and the liberation struggles in current Mozambican History Textbooks
Author(s)Cabecinhas, Rosa
Jamal, Cassimo
Editor(s)Schweitzer, Robert
Liertz, Uta-Maria
Kollektive Erinnerung
kulturelles Gedächtnis
Issue date2020
CitationCabecinhas, R. & Jamal, C. (2020). Kolonialismus und Befreiungskämpfe in aktuellen mosambikanischen Geschichtsschulbüchern/Colonialism and the liberation struggles in current Mozambican History Textbooks. In R. Schweitzer & U. Liertz (Eds.) Geschichtsunterricht, Geschichtspolitik, Identitätsbildung vom Kalten Krieg bis in die Gegenwart: Geschichtsbücher und ihr gesellschaftlicher Kontext (pp. 147-172). Helsinki: Aue-Stiftung.
Abstract(s)In this paper we examine the representations of the colonial past and the master narratives about the liberation struggles conveyed by current Mozambican history textbooks. Mozambique is a multicultural and multilingual country, which inherited a particularly difficult situation from the colonial past. After gaining independence in 1975, one of the priorities was colonial past. After gaining independence in 1975, one of the priorities was to re-write history in order to overcome the “capitalist colonial mentality”, and foster “patriotism”, “socialism” and achieve “national cohesion”. However, soon after independence, the country lived through a 16-year “civil war” which ended only after the collapse of the USSR and the dismantling of the apartheid regimes in neighbouring countries. Our research corpus material comprised all five current history textbooks for secondary education (grades 8 - 12). We conducted an exploratory narrative content analysis of the corpus, connecting psychological contents (namely, social categorization, social comparison, and attribution processes) to linguistic-structural features of narratives. Textbooks explain how European imperialism was characterized by capitalism, the exploitation of natural and human resources, the slave trade, the partition of Africa among European empires, and the racist colonial rule, excluding native peoples from citizenship. The processes of social comparison assume a particular relevance, aiming to highlight a common struggle against colonialism and capitalism by African and Asian peoples. Overall, textbooks tend to configure a simplified master narrative that operates on the basis of binary oppositions that were conveyed by the ruling elite propaganda, legitimizing the present-day political situation. Throughout the text, the binary “us” versus “them”, “workers” versus “capitalists”, is mainly expressed in terms of European/exploiter versus African/exploited and goes in tandem with an almost unspoken racial binary system (Black versus White), achieved mainly through pictures. The analysis undertaken in the current Mozambican history textbooks evidences that the memory of the liberation struggle from colonialism is at the heart of the national building process. However, this nation-building narrative goes in tandem with “old” binary systems forged during European colonialism.
TypeBook part
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CECS - Livros e capítulo de livros / Books and book chapters
DCC - Livros e capítulo de livros / Books and book chapters

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