Narrative identity: The Canon as Identity Narrative

Sylwester Zielka 1
1 - University of Gdańsk, Institute of Pedagogy
2016; 17 (2):
ICID: 1224683
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The main focus of this paper is to address problematic issues inherent in the canon, which
can be understood as a construct that enables the production of the common universe of
images and symbols, which support the collective memory, that is an indispensable element
of the collective identity of social groups, including nations. In such understanding
of the canon, it is a cultural construct which itself also constructs culture. This dual nature
of the canon becomes particularly obvious in the case of national educational canons
connected to complex collective subjects. Participation in the canon as a cultural text is
partially indicative of belonging to a certain group, and thus guaranteeing one’s individual
identity. Education, however, is the field of constant debate, a polemical discourse and
other forms of cultural dispute which may come under the header of ideological wars. The
inextricable connection between ideology and education can be expressed in the form
of a dilemma: what kind of person do we wish to raise, and how do we identify what it
means to be a citizen, and does he/she have exhibit patriotism as a result? In this context,
the question about the educational canon emerging from these debates is also a question
about the image of culture and its dominant narrations defining ways of constructing and
fulfilment of identity.

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