Manufacturing visions of society and history in textbooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Interviews with personnel involved in designing secondary-school social-science textbooks, and the findings of previous research in the sociology of work in mass media organizations, reveal three, often complementary, domains of control that influence textbook visual content: (a) industrial - the meaning, relevance, and historical or social significance of an image directed through captioning and accuracy guidelines; (b) commercial - marketing pressures that make aesthetic appeal of great importance to the textbook's production success; and (c) social - interest groups that influence the visual components of the textbook, but because of space limitations the game is zero-sum. This study finds that, in all, the textbook vision of society is homogenized and sanitized to reduce the risk of controversy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-81
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


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