Culture and Gender Representation in Iranian School Textbooks

Sexuality and Culture 20 (1):69-84 (2016)
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This study examines the representations of male and female social actors in selected Iranian EFL (English as a Foreign Language) textbooks. It is grounded in Critical Discourse Analysis and uses van Leeuwen’s Social Actor Network Model to analyze social actor representations in the gendered discourses of compulsory heterosexuality. Findings from the analysis show that the representations endorse the discourse of compulsory heterosexuality which is an institutionalized form of social practice in Iran. Three male and three female students were interviewed to find out what they think about these representations. Their responses with regard to whether they think textbooks should also include representations of other forms of sexuality were non-committal and vague. To them LGBT people are the ‘‘Other’’ practicing a form of sexuality that is not normal. Such exclusions could obscure the reality regarding the existence of such gender identities and represent the world in a particular manner.



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Ali Salami
University of Tehran

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