Subliminal Sexism in Current ESL/EFL Textbooks

| March 31, 2003
Title
Subliminal Sexism in Current ESL/EFL Textbooks

Keywords: No Keyword

Authors
Hasan Ansary & Esmat Babaii
Shiraz University, Iran

Bio Data
Hasan Ansary (Mr): Ph.D. candidate in TEFL (Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran), EFL instructor (University for Teacher Education, Tehran, Iran), and assistant editor of the Iranian Journal of Applied linguistics

Esmat Babaii (Ms.): Ph.D. candidate in TEFL (Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran), EFL instructor (University for Teacher Education, Tehran, Iran), and Assistant editor of the Iranian Journal of Applied linguistics

Abstract
This study was an attempt to explore the status of sexism in current ESL/EFL textbooks. To this end, two types of analysis were performed to examine the manifestation(s) of sexist attitudes and values in two textbooks (Right Path to English I & II) that are locally designed to cater for and respond to the English language needs of Iranian students at secondary schools. First, a systematic quantitative content analysis was carried out with reference to (a) sex visibility in both texts and illustrations and (b) female/male topic presentation in dialogs and reading passages. Secondly, a qualitative inquiry was made into (a) sex-linked job possibilities, (b) sex-based activity types, (c) stereotyped sex roles (d) firstness and (e) masculine generic conception. Results revealed that Right Path to English I & II can be considered sexist textbooks that present students, in their early exposure to the English language, with an unfair and inexcusable picture of women. It is suggested that this sexism, though embarrassing and undesirable, seems to mirror the institutionalized unfair sex discrimination to the disadvantage of women in society.

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Category: Quarterly Journal