A corpus-based investigation of gender stereotyping and linguistic sexism in qatari primary school science textbooks

Bahiyah Abdul Hamid, Yuen Chee Keong, Zarina Othman, Mohamad Subakir Mohd Yasin, Jamilah Hani Baharuddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The content of textbooks that do not show gender equality can act as a conduit for the indoctrination of sexism and sex role conformity among primary students since they are too young to understand the hidden bias embedded. This corpus-based study is part of a bigger study that investigated the occurrence of gender stereotyping and linguistic sexism in the corpus of Qatari primary school science textbooks (Grades 1 to 6). The research design of this study paired the Corpus Lingusitics Approach with Critical Discourse Analysis, which is an innovative endeavour in textbook analysis not much capitalised by researchers in the area. This paper reports the findings of the quantitative textbook analysis. The findings revealed the existence of a large number of neutral gender roles which seem to indicate that the textbook writers were making a conscious effort to promote gender equality. However, further analysis reveals that there is indeed a masculine bias in the science textbooks in that the language used often reinforced male actors as the natural standard. Although in the public sphere females were significantly depicted, their positions are less varied and they occurred less frequently than the males. Males are portrayed as successful and powerful in the social domain and occupy higher positions in society. The second-place status of females is still deeply rooted in the textbooks investigated, and this may negatively impact on the effort to accentuate the active roles of Qatari females in the field of science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-218
Number of pages22
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume21
Issue numberSUPPL
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Fingerprint

sexism
textbook
primary school
linguistics
gender
science
equality
trend
conformity
Textbooks
Corpus-based
Primary School
Sexism
Stereotyping
Primary school
gender role
discourse analysis
research planning
school grade
writer

Keywords

  • Corpus-based analysis
  • Gender stereotyping
  • Linguistic sexism
  • Primary education
  • Science textbooks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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title = "A corpus-based investigation of gender stereotyping and linguistic sexism in qatari primary school science textbooks",
abstract = "The content of textbooks that do not show gender equality can act as a conduit for the indoctrination of sexism and sex role conformity among primary students since they are too young to understand the hidden bias embedded. This corpus-based study is part of a bigger study that investigated the occurrence of gender stereotyping and linguistic sexism in the corpus of Qatari primary school science textbooks (Grades 1 to 6). The research design of this study paired the Corpus Lingusitics Approach with Critical Discourse Analysis, which is an innovative endeavour in textbook analysis not much capitalised by researchers in the area. This paper reports the findings of the quantitative textbook analysis. The findings revealed the existence of a large number of neutral gender roles which seem to indicate that the textbook writers were making a conscious effort to promote gender equality. However, further analysis reveals that there is indeed a masculine bias in the science textbooks in that the language used often reinforced male actors as the natural standard. Although in the public sphere females were significantly depicted, their positions are less varied and they occurred less frequently than the males. Males are portrayed as successful and powerful in the social domain and occupy higher positions in society. The second-place status of females is still deeply rooted in the textbooks investigated, and this may negatively impact on the effort to accentuate the active roles of Qatari females in the field of science.",
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AU - Baharuddin, Jamilah Hani

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AB - The content of textbooks that do not show gender equality can act as a conduit for the indoctrination of sexism and sex role conformity among primary students since they are too young to understand the hidden bias embedded. This corpus-based study is part of a bigger study that investigated the occurrence of gender stereotyping and linguistic sexism in the corpus of Qatari primary school science textbooks (Grades 1 to 6). The research design of this study paired the Corpus Lingusitics Approach with Critical Discourse Analysis, which is an innovative endeavour in textbook analysis not much capitalised by researchers in the area. This paper reports the findings of the quantitative textbook analysis. The findings revealed the existence of a large number of neutral gender roles which seem to indicate that the textbook writers were making a conscious effort to promote gender equality. However, further analysis reveals that there is indeed a masculine bias in the science textbooks in that the language used often reinforced male actors as the natural standard. Although in the public sphere females were significantly depicted, their positions are less varied and they occurred less frequently than the males. Males are portrayed as successful and powerful in the social domain and occupy higher positions in society. The second-place status of females is still deeply rooted in the textbooks investigated, and this may negatively impact on the effort to accentuate the active roles of Qatari females in the field of science.

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