Afrika i svenska läroböcker i historia : En undersökning om hur Afrika framställs i svenska läroböcker i historia för gymnasiet
Sammanfattning: Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate how the African continent, its people and its history were portrayed in a selection of Swedish history textbooks for upper secondary school that were published in the period 2000-2010. In addition, the aim was also to investigate how the portrayal of Africa might have changed over time compared to the portrayal of Africa in textbooks before 2000. In order to answer the second part of the aim of this study, comparisons were made between the findings of this study and the findings of a selection of previous studies on the portrayal of Africa in Swedish textbooks that were published before 2000. The main method used in this study was qualitative content analysis. Postcolonial theory was used as the theoretical framework for this study. The study found that most of the selected Swedish history textbooks had an explicit focus on European history, and that African history was discussed in the selected textbooks mostly in contexts where African history affects European history – or vice versa. There were several exceptions, though, which were mostly found in the description of prehistory humans and antiquity. Also, one textbook stood out in particular in this regard by including a section on medieval African societies. Overall, this is in line with what previous studies have said about the portrayal of Africa in Swedish textbooks. The study also found that when the textbooks discussed present day Africa, or Africa´s future, the textbooks´ portrayals of Africa resulted in an image of the continent as particularly affected by poverty, famine, political breakdown, civil war and ethnic conflict. This somewhat pessimistic portrayal is often balanced in the textbooks by contrasting the negative trends with positive ones, such as reduced child mortality rates, increased reading- and writing skills and improved health.
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