The Power and the Teaching of History in the Times of Transition: A Cultural-Semiotic Perspective

Dmitry Redin

Abstract


The article explores the correlations between history as a discipline and the process of power legitimation in Russia in the times of transition. Using methods and approaches of cultural-semiotic analysis, and more particularly the models of dual systems developed by the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School, the author shows that the didactic and ideological potential of history has been actively and consciously used by the authorities since the reign of Peter the Great when, due to a cultural shift a “secular religion of statehood” started taking shape. As semiotics makes it possible to correctly compare and comprehend any periods of transition, the researcher focuses on the contemporary interest of the authorities in creating a uniform school textbook of Russian history and maintains that it is one of the manifestations of the ordinary desire of the authorities to use history for their own social legitimation which is characteristic of the typological situation of cultural and historical transition.

Keywords


power; legitimation; cultural semiotic approach; dual models;times of transition; ideology; teaching of history; school textbook of history.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15826/qr.2013.1.005

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