Changing LUK: Nation and narration in ‘Life in the United Kingdom’ – Dr Arthur Chapman, Institute of Education, University College London
Since 2004, an official history of the United Kingdom has been published by the British government in the form of the ‘history’ chapter of the British Home Office’s publication Life in the United Kingdom (LUK). This publication has been through three editions (2004, 2007 and 2013) each of which has rewritten the ‘history’ chapter, marginally in 2007 and more significantly in 2013.
Contextualising LUK, this paper uses grammatical analysis and, in particular, an analysis of ‘transitivity’, to explore differences in the narrative strategies adopted by LUK’s history chapters over time, focusing, in particular, on the first and the third editions of the guide. Similarities and differences over time in the content and overall structure, in the orientation to the past, in the narrative function and in the appraisal and attitudes to the past exhibited by LUK’s history chapters are identified using content and ‘transitivity’ analysis. Striking differences in the narrative strategies apparent over time are noted and explored.
Dr Arthur Chapman is Senior Lecturer in History Education at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. He was a history teacher for 12 years and has worked in higher education since 2005 at the universities of Cumbria, Edge Hill and London. He is associate editor of the London Review of Education, the International Journal of History Teaching, Learning and Research and a series editor of The International Review of History Education.
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