The construction of gender in Ugandan English textbooks: a focus on gendered discourses
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Informed by a feminist post-structural framework, this study departs from the overriding emphasis on explicit constructions of women in textbooks. It focuses on culturally implicit knowledge and/or gendered discourses that have informed the construction of gender in Ugandan secondary school textbooks. Findings illuminate the construction of women using discourses networked to produce them as emotional, invested in physical appearances, vulnerable, and in need of men. Intertwined within these are mutually supporting discourses that construct them as irrational, passive, nurturing, trivial, empty-headed, and jealous. Women were constructed oppositionally to men, produced as rational, physically fit breadwinners. This configuration of discourses draw on an underlying ‘common-sense’ gender-differences discourse, which secures female/male border maintenance, sustaining unequal power relations. In exceeding the dominant focus on visibility therefore, this study illuminates how women are constructed, illuminating the workings of power through discourse to re-inscribe hierarchical gender-power relations, tackling deeper gender inequalities and hierarchies.
- Journal Article