The language of patriotism: Sacred history and dangerous memories
SourceBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
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This paper examines arguments about the teaching of history in Cyprus, especially as they relate to the cultivation of patriotism. I point out how the narratives of 'sacred history' and 'dangerous memories' are discursive elements of a pedagogy that aims at maintaining patriotism by preventing subjective and divisive personal memories from eroding a cohesive national narrative. Along with other linguistic strategies ('passions of the past'), these discourses allow an idealization of history and a rejection of subjective, personal memory. I argue that this contributes to viewing history as a distant entity and not as a field of action, something that ultimately works against the purported goal of sustaining patriotism.