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Title: Influence of Gendered Linguistic Images on Girl Education: A Case Study of Southern Kisii District, Kenya
Authors: Aberi, George Ezekiel
Keywords: Gendered Linguistic Images -- Girl Education
Issue Date: Oct-2009
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: This study sought to examine the dialectical relationship between gendered linguistic images and girls’ self-concept, participation and completion of secondary schooling. The study sought to evaluate the Gusii gendered linguistic and symbolic (semiotic) structures for their semantic consequences on Gusii girls (between ages 14-19) whose first language is Ekegusii. The study was interested in the language factor, the linguistic and semiotic structures (within the Gusii speech community) that help to shape and constrain the Gusii girls’ self-concept and attitudes towards education. This study presented specific gendered linguistic images that characterize the differing girls’ participation and retention rates in secondary schooling. Particularly, the analysis of gendered linguistic images was restricted to linguistic forms extracted from the Gusii speech community; proverbs, derogatory terms, common nouns, and verbs for their form and intrinsic value. Further to this, the research also analyzed symbolic (semiotic) cultural norms/practices; payment of bride price, wife beating, property ownership and inheritance rights, biased parental attitudes and household/domestic chores for their connotative and semiotic meanings that serve to subvert the Gusii girls’ self-definition and perceptions. The study was based on Critical Discourse Analysis as the interpretive and theoretical framework, and Bandura’s Social Learning Theory. The theories benefited the study in terms of perspective, practical approaches and analytical tools. Considering that Critical Discourse Analysis allows for triangulation, twenty- four teachers were given questionnaires with closed and open ended questions to respond to. Similarly, forty-eight girls aged between 14-19 were interviewed in focus groups. The study established that the discursive use of Ekegusii discourses serves to construct the Gusii girls’ perverted self concept and world view that are incongruent with their educational aspirations. The findings from this study will contribute to knowledge in the area of Applied Linguistics by showing how language planners can inculcate issues of gender equality into the curriculum.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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