Gendered Representations of Male and Female Social Actors in Iranian Educational Materials

Gender Issues 33 (3):258-270 (2016)
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This research investigates the representations of gendered social actors within the subversionary discourse of equal educational opportunities for males and females in Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) books. Using critical discourse analysis (CDA) as the theoretical framework, the authors blend van Leeuwen’s (Texts and practices: Readings in critical discourse analysis, Routledge, London, 2003) ‘Social Actor Network Model’ and Sunderland’s (Gendered discourses, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, 2004) ‘Gendered Discourses Model’ in order to examine the depictions of male and female social actors within this gendered discourse. The gendered discourse of equal opportunities was buttressed by such representations within a tight perspective in proportion to gender ideologies prevailing in Iran. Resorting to CDA, we can claim that resistance against such gendered discourse in Iranian EFL textbooks militates against such gender norms. These representations of male and female social actors in school books are indicative of an all-encompassing education, reinforcing that the discourse of equal opportunities is yet to be realized in the education system of Iran.
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