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LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION OF GENDER: A FEMINIST CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF ELEMENTARY LEVEL ENGLISH TEXTBOOKS IN KPK
The dominant socio-cultural ideologies embedded in the spoken and written discourses affect a human’s psyche and eventually become a part of his/her character.These ideologies are maintained and propagated through different discourses, for example, discourses taking place inside the confinements of the homes, discourses generating at workplace and the discourses obsessing electronic and print media, etc. Textbooks too are used as a medium to perpetuate, propagate and maintain the established socio-cultural ideologies of a society. In this regard, the present research is carried out to analyze textbooks’ discourse from feminist standpoint. The prime objective is to examine the linguistic description of each gender group in the elementary level English textbooks, being produced by provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board. Using a combined and modified model of three different kinds of models of critical discourse analysis- Fairclough’s Model of CDA, Porecca’s Model for CDA analysis and Michael Halliday’s Model of Transitivity Analysis- the researcher analyses the language of the short stories, essays and language proficiency units of the said textbooks for gender depiction. The key areas are ‘Interactional Control’, ‘Omission in Texts’, ‘Firstness’, ‘Metaphors’, ‘Generic Constructions’, ‘Adjectives’, ‘Verbs’, and ‘Nouns’ in the texts, in order to know what gender ideologies are embedded in the texts and what is their significance in the gender construction of both sex groups. The findings reveal that though a few texts are gender sensitive, most of the texts carry gender biased elements. The linguistic items disclose that one gender group is given edge over other, through various techniques like omission, control, firstness, dominance, active roles, etc. They depict men in a positive and women in a less positive way. It is recommended that the relevant authorities attend to the issue and take steps for a more gender-sensitive syllabus in future. The researcher also urges future researchers to analyze textbooks of other levels suggested in the last section of the research study.