Narratives and Discourse on National Identity in Moroccan Textbooks

  • Katherine Maye-Saidi
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Educational Media book series (PSEM)


The concept of national identity is typically reinforced through the referencing of an Other, and “our” difference from “them”. Ashcroft et al. (1998: 169) write that “The existence of others is crucial in defining what is ‘normal’ and in locating one’s own place in the world”, and Michel Foucault (1990) argued that Othering often underlies power in order to achieve a certain agenda through knowledge and discourse. While colonialism is one such example of the power of Othering, post-colonial processes such as nationalist discourse often avoid emphasising internal plurality. This is especially the case where the post-colonial state has an interest in building or reuniting one nation, often under one ruling power and, to use the words of Ashcroft et al. (ibid), aiming to “eradicate historical difference”. Anderson (2006: 5), for example, speaks of the “formal universality of nationality as a socio-cultural concept”, underlining that nationalism is inclusive and unifying. This means that internally there can be what Verdery calls a “totalizing process … that entails a relentless press toward homogeneity,” that at the same time requires an Other for the definition of the Self (1996: 231). This chapter will examine narratives and discourse on national identity in current Moroccan textbooks while also taking the concept of Othering into account. In the process, it will look at official discourse especially on Imazighen (plural form of Tamazight Amazigh “free man”, Amazighs), or Berbers and other groups in Morocco such as the Jewish population, and query whether these groups are depicted as subaltern in official discourse.

Textbooks Cited

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  5. History. Year 1. High School. Rabat. 2007.Google Scholar
  6. Modern History. Year 2, High School. Rabat. 2007/08.Google Scholar


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Maye-Saidi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CologneCologneGermany

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