Language and gender: A critical discourse analysis on gender representation in a series of international ELT textbooks

2015 IJRSE – Volume 4 Issue 2


Amerian, Majid*
Arak University, Iran (

Esmaili, Fateme
Arak University, Iran (


This study attempted to explore the representation of gender in an international ELT series, i.e., American Headway Student Textbooks. Fairclough’s (2001) three-dimensional model was selected and adopted as the model of study. Effectively, different parts of American Headway Student Textbooks were investigated systematically vis-à-vis eight factors, i.e. female and male’s characters, female and male’s social roles, female and male’s domestic roles, female and male’s semantic roles, female and male’s titles, order of appearance, masculine generic construction, activities females and males engaged in, and finally the pictorial representation of both genders. The findings of the study revealed that the series are suffering from two types of sexism—overt and covert ones—the overt one discriminates against females in a vivid way and the covert one exploits the women as an instrument for advertising in order to promote selling. This study suggests that the series are instilling capitalism economy as ideology.

Keywords: gender representation; sexism; capitalism; covert sexism; overt sexism; critical discourse analysis



*Corresponding Author