Call for Papers: (1-2019) National Holidays and Other Socio-Political Rituals in Schools


The Journal of Social Science Education will publish a special issue in Spring 2019 on the theme of “National Holidays and other Socio-Political Rituals in Schools”. The issue will be edited by Mehmet Acikalin (Istanbul Universitesi, Turkey), Tilman Grammes (Universität Hamburg, Germany), Jane Lo (Florida State University, U.S.).

Singing the national anthem, waving the flag, wearing uniforms (or not), celebrating national holidays and rituals reveal core fundamental aspects of the architecture of a society or nation, especially when they appear in an educational context. Such practices, often conducted on the occasion of a day of independence or the national liberation day, contribute to education for commitment to the foundational values of a nation or a given socio-cultural context. National holidays and commemoration days could be considered national memory practices and have critical functions in the construction of public memory and national identities. They aim at emotional impression and commitment to socio-political context.

This issue's thematic focus is strictly on educational contexts, mostly in school environments. Specific attention should be paid to educational goals, controversies and disruptions in such ceremonies. How are civic education, emotion and engagement combined with each other? Are there significant differences between practises in democratic or more authoritarian social contexts? Case studies could concentrate on current practices or on practices in recent contemporary national history and their development until today.

Anyway, public rituals like nationalization ceremonies or practices in children or youth culture movements could be of interest as well, e.g. during competitive sports festival or debating club competition. Public coming of age ceremonies (rite de passage) in child and youth development, often connected with religious education or their secular pendant (youth consecration), or public political socialization rituals in the army could be another thematic focus.

Papers could elaborate on topical themes like regionalism, patriotism, nationalism, new European movement, cosmopolitism. Other topical themes are supra-national events (European Day, Day of friendship among neighbouring countries), e.g. in European or International schools or in transnational classroom.

Methods could include all kinds of ethnographic documentation (“thick description”) and case study method, among them qualitative methodology like pictorial analysis (compare JSSE 2014-1), oral history, discourse analysis and other. Short audio or video documents can be integrated in the JSSE open access digital presentation to give a vivid impression of the events. This topic could help us to keep up to the state of the art in the social sciences and to deal with issues like emotions, body, performativity, symbols, pictures in the context of civic, citizenship, social and economic education (performative and spatial turn of social sciences).

The issue will contain:

  • An editorial in which key themes are highlighted and articles are briefly summarised;
  • 4-6 articles of between 6-9000 words;
  • 1-2 book reviews (each approximately 4-800 words long) on issues of public rituals and other current topics.

The following schedule will be used:

First submission by authors to editors until: 15 August 2018
Submission of ready for layout: 31 December 2018
Publication of entire issue: 15 February 2019

Guidance about the presentation of articles is available on the JSSE site at

Please use the online submission system to submit a paper.

The JSSE adopts the COPE Guidelines on publication ethics.