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Att finnas eller inte finnas: En läromedelsanalys i svenska som andraspråk och engelska med fokus på bias och porträttering av minoriteter
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
To exist or not to exist : A Textbook Analysis of English as a Foreign Language and Swedish as a Second Language Textbooks with Focus on Bias and the Portrayal of Minorities (English)
Abstract [en]

The content of teaching materials considerably affects pupils’ attitudes and worldview. This paper is an analysis of textbooks used in 7th through 9th grade of the Swedish School system in Swedish as a Second Language (SSL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The purpose of this paper is to look at which minority groups, the five official national minorities as well as other minorities, are included and portrayed in the textbook series Tre gånger svenska and Wings Mini as well as to see if there is any bias in their portrayal. The seven types of bias investigated; invisibility, stereotyping and generalizations, unreality, imbalance and selectivity, fragmentation and isolation, linguistic bias and cosmetic bias are an adaption of the framework to detect bias in curriculum materials presented by Sadker and Zittleman (2002/2003). An explanation of the term bias is presented and the paper also discusses ethnicity due to the necessity of making groups to be studied.

The study shows that neither of the textbooks examined adhere to the curriculum of the Swedish compulsory school system’s demand for objectivity and that the goal that all children should have knowledge about the five national minorities and their cultures, languages, religion and history is not fulfilled by these books. All seven forms of bias are present in both textbook series with stereotyping being the most frequent form in the SSL material. In the EFL material all forms except cosmetic bias and unreality are found throughout the textbooks. The language in the EFL material contributes to a Eurocentric colonial tone and in countries outside of Great Britain minorities are given little space and are portrayed in mainly stereotypically historical contexts and not as present in a modern society.

Although the SSL material frequents many names and pictures of minorities many of them are cosmetic. The concept of ethnocentrism is explicitly brought up to discussion by the same authors/editors who let the language in these textbooks draw up a dichotomy between majority and minority groups which is not present in the EFL material. The need for different perspectives is brought up and colonialism is presented as an invasion with negative effects for the native peoples in countries outside of Sweden.

Both textbook series make the new world economical order almost invisible by generally presenting countries in Asia, Africa and South- and Central America in only a rural perspective focused on poverty. The need for didactic text competency for teachers is discussed and a question is posed on politicians’ responsibility to provide financial possibilities for schools to buy new textbooks as the curriculum and the Swedish school system are being changed this year.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 77 p.
Keyword [en]
bias, ethnicity, textbook analysis, textbooks, minorities, Sweden
Keyword [sv]
bias, läromedelsanalys, minoriteter, nationella minoriteter, didaktisk textkompetens, etnicitet, svenska som andraspråk, engelska, läromedel
National Category
Pedagogy International Migration and Ethnic Relations
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-154698Local ID: 2010ht4717OAI: diva2:421819
Subject / course
Educational Sciences
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-06-10 Created: 2011-06-09 Last updated: 2011-06-10Bibliographically approved

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