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Title: The ancient past in public and private historical consciousness : national identity and middle school history education in Bavaria and East Germany, 1945 to 2000
Author: Cordts von Loewis of Menar, Hannah Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 8515
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis systematically explores how far and in what ways, public (official, state-sanctioned) and private (non-official, individual) views of the "ancient past" inform and or are influenced by prevalent world views, present needs and conditions and, particularly, by notions of national identity. It identifies the mechanisms by which the past is made relevant to the present and investigates to what degree these mechanisms are generic or dependent on particular contexts. The project focuses on post-war West and East Germany (specifically on Bavaria and the (il)R post-unification Saxony) as a case study. The thesis proposes a theoretical framework for the relationship between historical consciousness and national identity, which is used as a basis for the development of methodologies and data-analysis. Two main sets of data are used to explore different aspects of the theoretical model: 1. 'Middle School' educational media as a source for public historical consciousness and national identity: The analysis of history schoolbooks and curricula investigates how public historical narratives about the "ancient past" fit into and are affected by the wider socio-political processes which generate and define public notions of historical consciousness and national identity. 2. Former students as a source for private notions of historical consciousness and national identity: Interviews with individual members of society explore the nature and level of people's knowledge of the past, their views of (and feelings towards) history and investigate how this is may be related to their sense of national identity. The final part of the thesis draws the results together and discusses the relationship between the public and the private sphere.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available