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Contrastive Research on Gender Cultures in Senior High Schools’ English Textbooks

Author: XiaZhengMin
Tutor: WangWenQin
School: Nanjing Normal University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: English textbooks for senior high schools sexism feminism CDA
CLC: G634.41
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 156
Quote: 0
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This paper reviews feminism, CDA, and researches on gender cultures in textbooks, after which it raises two questions. One is "Does sexism still exist in current English textbooks used by Chinese senior high schools?", and the other is "Are there any differences between different versions of current English textbooks in terms of sexism?" To solve the two questions, the research analyzes and compares Advance with English and New Senior English for China quantitatively and qualitatively.The creation of textbooks adheres to and conveys social cultures, like gender cultures. Both foreign and domestic researches have proved sexism in textbooks. The sexism hinders students’awareness formation of gender equality. Although some measures have been taken to eradicate the sexism, it still exists visibly and invisibly in various textbooks.This research selects current English textbooks of senior high middle schools as research objects. Researches on sexism in these textbooks are few, so the research is of realistic significance. The research studies sexism in the selected textbooks from the perspectives of content, language and CDA. The research uses the corpus software antconc3.2.0w, etc. For content, the paper analyzes:1. visibility of genders from six dimensions, i.e. total numbers of genders, main characters, outstanding figures, characters with exact names, characters in titles, and characters in illustrations. After analyzing visibility of genders in the two sets of textbooks respectively, the paper then compare the results of the two, and finds out that there are no significant differences between the two. There exists imbalance in terms of visibility of genders, and the number of men is larger than that of women.2. Gender roles. The analysis of gender roles includes two parts, one is professional roles, and the other is family roles. The research results show men possessed much more categories of professional roles than women, and professional men are usually social authorities, having higher social status and salaries than women. Besides, both sets of textbooks rarely emphasize men’s responsibilities as family members, and they often enjoy quality time when they are mentioned within family sphere. In contrast, the two sets both emphasize women’s traditional and stereotyping family roles, such as doing housework, looking after family members, and fostering offsprings.3. Characteristics of men and women. The research selects the adjectives of modifying the two genders’ characteristics. The results show that men have more corresponding adjectives than their counterparts, which does not reflect the realistic situation loyally. The results show there are differences between the descriptions of men and the ones of women. For linguistic sexism, the research analyzes sexism from three aspects, i.e. marked language, firstness and generic structures. The research results also show sexism against women in textbooks. Finally, the research applies CDA to analyze ideologies conveyed by gender information. This part chooses adjectives of modifying the two genders’characteristics as research objects. The research results show that men’s adjectives are much more, more comprehensive and more complete than women. Compared with women, men’s images are thus more vivid and more complete. Female images are incomplete when compared with female images in reality. Therefore, the textbooks convey the information that men are more complete characters who can be learned from as models. Moreover, women may even learn from these men images because of lack of female images in textbooks. This is the process of conveying ideologies. The ideologies are sexism against women, which go against the socialization of men and women and hinder the eradication of sexism.The last part analyzes the reasons for sexism in textbooks from aspects of culture, politics and textbooks. The paper then continues with the impacts of sexism on students’ identification of gender roles. Having analyzed reasons and impacts, the paper discusses some feasible measures for getting rid of the sexism in textbooks during legislation, compilation, examination, selection and application. In the end, the paper points out some limitations and possible developments in this area.

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CLC: > Culture, science,education, sports > Education > Secondary education > Materials, textbooks,teaching aids
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