Context matters in history textbook production: A call to address the socio-political landscape of textbook production


History textbooks are a tool of nation-building and often the only account of particular events, people and issues to which students will be exposed. This is one reason why it is important to examine, not only their content, but the context of their production. Research attention needs to be directed not only at disentangling the logics of textbook content, a purpose that dominates the field, but also at the social and political contexts of their development, including their production (publishing and authorship) and the processes by which they receive official approval. This work analyzed 100 history textbook studies in order to identify current trends in textbook research. This article focuses on one of the four major findings of the study: textbook studies often focus on the content of the textbook in isolation from the socio-political landscape of textbook production. The socio-political landscape refers, but is not limited to, the influence of local and geopolitics; the influence of the state, evident primarily in the official approval processes employed by governments; the economic dimension and publication parameters; and authorship factors.


Clark, Penney
Llewellyn, Kristina,
Capo Garcia, Rafael
Clifford, Sarah

Name of conference, organization, journal, or publisher where KMb product appears

Historical Encounters 11(1), 136-150.

Publication or Presentation Date