Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Evelyn Fogle

Committee Member

Sage Graham

Committee Member

Teresa Dalle


Using Critical Discourse Analysis and computational linguistics in the present study, I investigated the discursive representations of gender in two series of English Language Development textbooks in the largest markets in the USA Texas and California. In addition, I examined the pictorial gender representations within images of these two series adhering to Critical Image Analysis. I also engaged in previously unnavigated realms of learning material study by examining the linguistic and pictorial gendering of non-human characters as well as examining types and tokens of gendered language. I also investigated the roles genre played in gendered messaging in both series. Finally, I investigated how diversity, design, and access give power to some and not to others in these two series, employing Janks Interdependent Theory of Critical Literacy as my framework. The results indicate that while overt sexism has been removed from current US texts, more subtle forms of bias exist linguistically and pictorially that place males in positions of supremacy and suppress the accomplishments of females. These texts promote traditional gender and family roles while overrepresenting males and underrepresenting females when compared to US Census Data. Stories place males in adventurous, aggressive, and competitive environments that are not open to female agents. Female agents are most often seen at home or going home and appear confident within domestic spheres. Females are materialist while males are pragmatic. Through an investigation of non-humans, I found that females are small, underestimated, and unintelligent while males are big, cunning, and drawn as the norm. Female non-humans often are othered pictorially through adornment, facial features, and coloring.In addition, these texts lack genuine diversity or design, giving power and supremacy to white males while suppressing the voices of females. The texts do present multiple hybrid identities which allow males and females to access several varieties of discourse. Implications at the school, institutional, and societal level are discussed, and recommendations for challenging gender bias in teacher training and classroom discourse are given as well as a discussion of future research.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest