Exploring Popular Responses to Attempted Changes in the Dominant Discourse: The Case of the 6th Grade History Textbook Revision in Greece




Gatsias, Athanasios

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study explores the factors that inform popular responses to attempted changes in dominant national historical discourses. Using a history curriculum revision initiative in Greece as a case study, an effort is made to identify factors that constitute determinants of acceptance or resistance to initiatives that appear to be introducing more axiologically balanced curricula. Multiple methods of systematic inquiry are employed to carry out this task: a) content analysis of the old and the new history textbooks in the case concerned so as to identify differences in the their axiological patterns, especially in the relationship between national Self and Other; b) thematic analysis of 100 newspaper articles, opinion pieces and internet blogs, so as to identify the discursive patterns in the public dialogue supporting or opposing the given history curriculum revision initiative; and c) in-depth interviews with 15 stakeholders in order to elicit their opinion on the initiative and on the factors that shaped popular reaction to it. The intention of this research is to take a further step towards understanding the cognitive and emotional responses of a society when attempts are made to change the dominant historical narratives. At a practical level, the insights drawn through this research may be utilized in future initiatives to identify popular concerns and, accordingly, develop strategies to address them, thus, increasing the likelihood of success.



Social sciences education, Collective Axiology, Greece, Historical Narratives, History Education, Textbooks