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ERIC Number: ED175776
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Mischief of Factions: Political Parties in School Textbooks.
Rinehart, Sue Tolleson
An analysis of the treatment of political parties in four history and civics textbooks is presented. Three high school and one junior high texts, all currently in use, were examined to identify any mentioning of a political party. Variables included mention of all or both parties, the degree and locus of conflict mentioned, the context in which the party was mentioned, the presentation of issues, mention of the function of parties, treatments of patronage and corruption, and the subjective nature of the presentations. Findings indicated that third parties are generally ignored. Also, although the party function of policy direction was stressed somewhat more than had been anticipated, electoral functions were dominant in the treatments. Mention of excessive patronage and corruption was far less than hypothesized; neither individual parties nor parties generally were portrayed as corrupt or overly indulgent in patronage activities. In analyzing the subjective nature of the texts, it was found that history books are likely to be more negative than positive while the reverse is true for civics books. Finally, the parties' stands on issues and party functions tended to be weakly illustrated. The author concludes that a sophisticated and dynamic conception of political parties is missing from the texts. Further, students do not understand why parties exist and what they actually contribute to the system. (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A