A study of gender positioning and occupational roles in selected primary school english language textbooks

Habibah Ismail, Bahiyah D. Dato'Hj, Aidil Abdul Hamid, Mohamad Subakir Mohd Yasin, Zarina Othman, Yuen Chee Keong, Azhar Jaludin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Learning materials, especially textbooks have significant roles in instilling concepts especially to young learners. Previous researchers in textbook analysis have found that gender discrimination towards females are especially salient. However, there are also research work related to English Language textbooks that found a fair distribution for both females and males in the textbooks including a fair distribution of occupational roles for each gender. The portrayal of males and females in occupational roles as fair should bring about positive affects and motivate young learners while textbooks that show discrimination would bring about the contrary. This study seeks to determine whether gender portrayed through their occupation is depicted as fair or bias in four selected textbooks (imported) from the corpus of twenty nine English language textbooks used in Qatar. This is part of a larger corpus, from a study supported by international and Malaysian research grants. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of gender positioning was carried out using WordSmith Tool 5.0. and Critical Discourse Analysis respectively. While occupation related nouns are the focus, frequency of other related features like pronouns, salutations and kinship terms are also presented to relate findings from the occupational dimension to the visibility of males and females in the textbooks as a whole- any evidence of fairness or biasness is not a stand alone case in the occupational dimension but a trend that applies in other related dimension/s as well. The findings show that in the occupational dimension, bias is evident not only in terms of frequency of representations but also in terms of diversity of occupations related to males over females. The findings of this study will be relevant not only to learners, parents and educators, but also to textbook writers, editors, publishers, researchers and decision-makers interested in gender equality and equity issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-194
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Volume18
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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occupational role
gender role
textbook
English language
primary school
gender
occupation
discrimination
trend
Qatar
kinship
discourse analysis
fairness
grant
decision maker
equality
parents
equity
editor
writer

Keywords

  • Corpus
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Gender positioning
  • Text analysis
  • Textbooks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

A study of gender positioning and occupational roles in selected primary school english language textbooks. / Ismail, Habibah; Dato'Hj, Bahiyah D.; Abdul Hamid, Aidil; Mohd Yasin, Mohamad Subakir; Othman, Zarina; Chee Keong, Yuen; Jaludin, Azhar.

In: International Journal of Learning, Vol. 18, No. 12, 2013, p. 163-194.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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