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Lärobokshinduism: En studie om hur hinduism framställs i skolböcker för gymnasieskolan mellan åren 1998-2013.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Textbook Hinduism : A study on how Hinduism is portrayed in Swedish high school textbooks 1998-2013 (English)
Abstract [en]

This essay analyses how Hinduism is portrayed within different textbooks produced for students attending senior high school in Sweden, spanning the years of 1998 until 2013. The analysis itself aims to identify any orientalist tendencies within the textbooks as well as how gender is portrayed. The textbooks are analysed from a set of criteria, namely, content, visual text, gender and text analysis. The analysis also examines what changes occur in regards to how textbooks portray Hinduism in the courses Religion A and Religion 1. Textbooks constitute a dominant part of the Swedish education system which makes the findings of this essay relevant and important for educators. The theory which acts as a foundation for this essay has been adapted from Edward Said’s Orientalism. Said argues that Orientalism is a political strategy which uses stereotypical descriptions of Hinduism to show the strength and superiority of the West. The textbooks studied here contain Orientalist tendencies to a varying degree and  Hinduism as a religion is portrayed in a simplistic manner throughout. Hinduism is also portrayed in sharp contrast to the structure of western society as a primitive religion in a way that is not fully consistent with how Hinduism is practiced in India and around the world today. There are tendencies toward latent orientalist perspectives. The gender perspective in regards to actual text is roughly unchanged throughout all the material used in the study. However, when viewing the images contained within the material, changes have been dramatic and the more recent textbooks now lean towards being dominated by illustrations of females as opposed to males.  The major change in discourse took place between the textbooks connected to Religion A and the books connected to Religion 1. There were significantly less orientalist tendencies present in the textbooks adapted to Religion 1 and a clear pattern could be discerned. Where orientalist tendencies had been diminished the authors had instead attached explanations to the text and expanded upon the subject-matter enabling the reader to gain a greater understanding of what everyday life as a Hindu entails. Another change which could be found in the analysis is that recent textbooks had adapted its subject-matter to conform to how the realities of Hinduism in India and the rest of the world actually look like today. The outdated and stereotypical attributes previously attached to Hinduism based on a western viewpoint have thus faded or been replaced altogether.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 41 p.
Keyword [sv]
Lärobok, läroboksanalys, innehållsanalys, visuell textanalys, genus, skolhinduism, Gy11, Läroplan, orientalism, Edward Said, stereotypiska beskrivningar, religion, orientalistiska tendenser, lärare, genusanalys
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-47550OAI: diva2:873967
Subject / course
Religious Studies
Educational program
Lärarprogrammet, inriktning mot verksamhet i grundskolans senare år och gymnasiet
Available from: 2015-11-27 Created: 2015-11-25 Last updated: 2015-11-27Bibliographically approved

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