Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Dr. Yaghoob Foroutan

Postdoctoral Fellow,
Population Studies Center, Faculty of Social Sciences,
The University of Waikato, Hamilton,
New Zealand

In the course of 'gender socialization theory' (Richardson 1977, Evans and Davis 2000, Taylor 2003), this article examines the representation of gender issues in the school-textbooks. Since gender socialization is a long and continuing process of everyone's life-span, it is significantly associated with a number of main factors and institutions such as family, peer group, school and mass media over the lifetime. It, however, has been well documented that gender socialization is mainly formed in the childhood and school-ages, and then is gradually internalized in the mind and social behaviour (Gooden and Gooden 2001). This means that schools and textbooks, as the first agents and the most influential tools for the formal education and transition of social expectation! s and cultural standards (Taylor 2003), play a key role in shaping and developing the gender identity of children. Using content analysis method, this study focuses on the textbooks of Iranian primary schools (from Year 1 to Year 5) in the educational year 2009-2010. Generally speaking, the results of this analysis provide empirical evidence to support 'the male-first phenomenon' (Lee and Collins 2008) and 'gender bias' (Sugar et al. 2002, Sunderland et al. 2001), rather than 'gender fairness' (Whiteley 1996). These gender patterns portrayed in the school-textbooks tend to be incompatible with Iranian women's substantial achievements in human capital and demographic changes in the recent years.


Dr Yaghoob Foroutan completed his doctoral degree at Demography & Sociology Program, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia in 2007. He also obtained a MA in Sociology and a MA in Demography from Tehran University. Dr Foroutan holds a position as Assistant Professor at Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Mazandaran in Iran. He is presently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Population Studies Sciences, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.