ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Forging a Vocabulary for the Nation: A Feminist Reading of Language Textbooks

As the national identity and the building of national character are the core concerns of education, the documents on educational policy mirror implicitly and explicitly the choices that textbook writers make regarding content. Defining the ideal national character or identity is a matter of political contestation, and so competing visions of nationalism can define the educational curriculum quite differently. In the light of this understanding, this study of textbooks maps how the conceptual triad of nation, education and gender is reflected in textbook content. It explores the historical (and from this, political) context of the languages and how this influences the vision of the nation that particular language textbooks create. It also examines how this historical context is reflected in the physical and emotional landscapes conjured up in the different language textbooks; in the way the other - the Muslim - is constructed.

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