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(Re-) construction of Gender in Postcolonial Foreign Language Textbooks in Algeria

Zeroukhi, Lynda (2019) (Re-) construction of Gender in Postcolonial Foreign Language Textbooks in Algeria. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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While gender in textbooks has attracted the attention of scholarly investigations in recent decades approaching the matter from a socio-linguistic and semiotics point of view, gender in textbooks seen through the lens of postcolonial theory has hitherto not been the topic of major academic research. This thesis, therefore, explores constructions of gender in French and English textbooks used in the middle school level in Algeria, during the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The study focuses on how the discourse of nationalism together with the colonial legacies in Algeria shape the visual and verbal content of the textbooks Andy in Algeria:3.A.M (1982-1983), Majid in England: 4.A.M (1985-1986), Spring: An English Course for Beginners 8AF (2001-2002), Spring: An English Course for Beginners 9 AF (2004-2005), Spotlight on English: Book Three (2002), On the Move (2006), Textes choisis: 3eme année moyenne (1982-1983), and Textes choisis : 4eme année moyenne (1984-1985), Lecture française : 8eme année fondamentale (2003-2004), Lecture française : 9eme année fondamentale (2004-2005), Mon livre de français : 3eme année moyenne (2014-2015), Livre de français: 3eme année moyenne (2005-2006), Français :4eme année moyenne (2007-2008), representing English and French, respectively. Postcolonial theory and theories of nationalism inform this thesis to precisely provide an understanding of the manner in which gender is (re-) constructed in Algerian textbooks. The first chapter is a critical introduction, contextually situating gender in postcolonial Algeria together with state adopted policies of education. Chapter one highlights the need for the examination of gender from a postcolonial perspective as it positions the thesis within previous research in the field. Chapter two investigates the ‘transfer’ of colonial visual legacy into the post-independence textbooks Textes choisis: 3ème année moyenne (1982-1983), Textes choisis: 4ème année moyenne (1984-1985) and Majid in England (1985-1986), illustrating the participation of Algeria in orientalising gender. Emasculating visuality of Algerian men developed in chapter two is further studied in chapter three in the context of the nationalist ideology of the state that defined men as ‘protectors of the nation’. Reconstruction of masculine identity, however, led to a hyper-assertion of masculinity resulting in a symbolic masculine domination. Chapter four argues that in an attempt to reconstruct an exoticising visuality of Algerian women as discussed in chapter two, the content of the textbooks reflects the discourse of nationalism. In the latter, feminine identity bears an exclusive definition of ‘motherhood’ and return to Algeria’s colonial past, thus restoring the gender order under colonial domination that confines women to domesticity, set against the coloniser. Chapter five looks at the ‘selective’ return to Algeria’s past and changing roles for women. This chapter illustrates the modern face of nationalism albeit providing a national model of modernising change from ‘within’ as opposed to from ‘without’. As the thesis provides a fresh methodological approach, analysing the ahistorical and the apolitical limitations of previous research in the field, future avenues of research can take further this notion of modernising change from within and explore it in relation to second generation textbooks of French, English, Berber and Arabic published in 2017.  

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > French (Leeds) > Centre for Francophone Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Lynda Zeroukhi
Date Deposited: 13 May 2020 06:45
Last Modified: 13 May 2020 06:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26405

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