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Title: Power through knowledge : a sociological analysis of history writing for schools in colonial Malta: the case of ‘Outlines of Maltese history’
Authors: Cassar, Dylan
Keywords: Malta -- History
History -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Malta
Laspina, Salvatore, 1903-1981. Outlines of Maltese history -- Criticism and interpretation
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: This study provides a thorough deconstruction of the popular history textbook ‘Outlines of Maltese History’ by Rev. Salvatore Laspina, utilised for secondary schools in colonial Malta (1934-1973). Although nowadays it is widely discredited, the concepts and images underlying this narrative moulded the worldview of tens of thousands of children for about 40 years. The theoretical underpinnings upon which this study was founded upon are ones pertaining to the relationship between knowledge and power. It is the belief of this research that knowledge embodies and reproduces power. This study aimed at locating the text within its context, both pertaining to the material power relations, as well as that of a larger dicourse. The structure and content of the text were analysed through a quantitative content analysis combined with a qualitative deconstructionist method, from which a series of themes were extracted and analysed in terms of a set of dichotomies. The results show how the text provides various subjective inclinations as well as specific constructions and reconstrutions of identity in relation to certain groups, which are often linked to characterisations and stereotypical representations.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArtSoc - 2014

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