Reading School Textbooks as a Cultural and Political Text: Representations of Asia in Geography Textbooks Used in the United States

Won-Pyo Hong


Investigating secondary social studies textbooks, this study examines how Asia is represented and what socio-cultural implications are embedded in the textbook representation of Asia. Using the perspective of cultural studies and postcolonialism, it inquires about how different countries are portrayed to receive differentiated images, how Asia as a whole is represented, and how the textbooks position American readers with regard to the relationship between the U.S. and Asia. The argument ensuing from this investigation is that curriculum scholars need to pay more attention to rethinking how to invite other cultures and societies into school curriculum and how to engage students with people who appear to be different from themselves.


About the Author

Won-Pyo Hong received his doctoral degree from Michigan State University. Currently he is a post-doctoral researcher at Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.  His research interests include curriculum theories and global and multicultural education especially in the Asian context. His email address is  


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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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