The Representation of Gender Roles in Indonesian National English Textbooks for Senior High Schools

Puspita Dewi*[1], Riyana Rizki Yuliatin[2], Dian Eka Sari[3]

[1] * corresponding author, Department of Computer Science, Bumigora University, Indonesia,

[2] Department of Drama, Dance, and Music, Hamzanwadi University, Indonesia,

[3] Department of English Literature, Foreign Language College Prayoga, Indonesia,


Learners internalize some values behind the materials and instruction provided in their textbooks. The values have a pivotal role in changing learners’ beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes, however; numerous textbooks investigated embedded gender inequality values. This study explores gender representation in Senior High Schools textbooks published by the government of Indonesia. Three different textbooks for grades X, XI, and XII were used as a corpus in this study.  A mixed content analysis was applied to analyze the data. Five categories namely visibility, firstness, social role, domestic roles, and masculine generic forms were counted, tabulated, and analyzed. The research results show that gender imbalance representation exists in the textbooks which showed by the males’ illustrations, names, and pronouns men’s representations have much more than women’s representations. Plenty of images, symbols, and signs were illustrated by males’ domination. Almost all pictures selected at the beginning of the chapter are men revealing men’s power and domination in everyday life. While, women were described in domestic roles to be child caring, house cleaning, and sexual service, men are portrayed as soldiers, hunters, and breadwinners leading to power. Thus, it is concluded that gender inequality still exists in the textbooks although written by women, and the senior high school English textbooks still perpetuate of the gender inequality values in Indonesia.

Keywords: Gender values, English textbooks, Senior High Schools, gender representations, gender inequality


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