Socialization, Gender Theory and English Textbooks in Iran
Keywords: Socialization, gender theory, textbooks, mass media, society
Vahid Mahmoudi Gahrouei.
Islamic Azad University,
Shahrekord Branch, Iran
Vahid Mahmoudi Gahrouei is a visiting lecturer in the Faculty of Language and Literature, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord Branch, Iran. He is currently a PhD student in applied linguistics. He obtained his MA from Yazd University, Iran. His research interests include L2 acquisition, discourse analysis, and educational psychology.
Textbooks are vital means of mass media in the society and have a unique place in the instruction of the learner. Textbooks are potent instruments which help in building up desirable attitudes in learners (Sumalatha, 2004). They remain one of the versatile agents of socialization in the society. School textbooks as mass media and a gender socialization agent play an important role in shaping the learners’ view of female and male genders in the society. Gender responsiveness is one of the current issues that have attracted major debates in different arenas including in the education system in general and textbook publishing in Iran in particular. This case study examines the portrayal of gender images in school English textbooks published by the Textbooks Compilation Bureau of the Education Ministry of Iran. The findings show under-representation of female gender in authorship, editorship, typesetting and illustrating the textbooks. They further show that male gender outnumbers the female gender in the use of characters in illustrations, names and titles used to refer to the genders.