Voices of female and male authorship: legitimations and discourses in literature textbooks

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    The literature textbook contains a range of voices (e.g. the textbook writer, the authors, experts etc.) who legitimize certain perspectives on the authorship (Dahl 2015). The aim of this paper is to discuss how voices are used and combined to legitimize female and male authorship in five literature textbooks for upper secondary schools in Sweden. The analysis is based on Theo van Leeuwen’s (2007) concept of legitimation, Bakhtin’s (1991) concept of voice and Norman Fairclough’s (1992) concept of intertextuality and interdiscursivity. Intertextuality focuses on how voices, i.e. explicit references, are used to authorize a specific perspective on the authorship. Interdiscursivity highlights texts as social practices constituted by combinations of voices, discourses and genres. My analysis of interdiscursivity examines how voices and discourses are articulated in the legitimation of the authorship and how it is realized linguistically. The result indicates differences in how male and female authorship are legitimized. Typical for the discourse of the male authorship is that the textbook writer’s voice interacts with the voices of the author and authorities in literature, shaping a homophonic discourse in which literary concepts and theory are predominant. The male authorship is legitimized as artistically significant in the history of literature. In comparison, the legitimization of the female authorship is characterized by a monophonic discourse with few references to authorities in literature. Interdiscursively, the voice of the textbook writer is more evaluative and authoritative, and the legitimations focus on the author’s social and empathetic ability. The result raises questions about the construction of male and female identities and didactic implications regarding language, identity and power in textbooks.

    Sidor (från-till)5-22
    Antal sidor17
    TidskriftIARTEM e-journal
    StatusPublicerad - 2018

    Nationell ämneskategori

    • Humaniora och konst (6)


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