IS WHAT YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET? A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF FEMALES IN JUNIOR PRIMARY ENGLISH FIRST LANGUAGE TEXTBOOKS IN NAMIBIA
Keywords:feminism, Critical Discourse Analysis, thematic analysis, visual images, patriarchy, subordination, oppression, society
This paper presents a critical discourse analysis of twelve junior primary English First language (EFL) textbooks in Namibia using visual images as units of analysis. We assumed there is gender inequality in textbooks. The aim of this study is to investigate how females are represented in these textbooks and why females are presented the way they are. The study is informed by the principles of feminist theory which is premised on the subordination and oppression of females in society. This led to the adaptation of the critical paradigm which also aims at bringing justice to the oppressed. The critical paradigm works well with the qualitative approach design chosen. The images were analysed using themes from the thematic analysis approach and were critiqued using the critical discourse analysis. In this article, we argue that females were oppressed, subordinated and stereotyped in various ways in the sampled textbooks. Findings reveal that females were stereotyped in domestic roles, parental roles, occupational roles, activities and games and were depicted as patients or victims who had no agency. Females were subordinated in occupations. This study was conducted in an African country and its findings are similar to those of other studies from other parts of the world which point out that patriarchy and politics influence the way females are portrayed in textbooks.