File Download
  Links for fulltext
     (May Require Subscription)
Supplementary

postgraduate thesis: Doing gender in reading English as a second language: a multi-case study across China and Sweden

TitleDoing gender in reading English as a second language: a multi-case study across China and Sweden
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lu, H. [卢杭艳]. (2012). Doing gender in reading English as a second language : a multi-case study across China and Sweden. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4775290
AbstractThis thesis reports a cross-cultural study that investigated the ways Chinese and Swedish college students do gender in their experiences of reading English as a second language. The concept “doing gender in reading” in this study derives from the view of reading as a social practice that leads to gendered identities construction. Previous studies, which mostly found that girls outperformed boys in reading achievement, created a linear relationship between gender and achievement. This study, informed by social theories of literacy (Gee, 2008; Street, 1984; Kress, 2010) and poststructuralist theories of gender (Weedon, 1997; Butler, 1990), explored how socially-constituted gendered ideologies might be instantiated and negotiated in college students’ experiences of reading English as a second language. It gave particular attention to diversity within and between genders and to the dynamics of students’ socio-culturally mediated reading practices. The study was guided by the following sub-questions: (a) What gender-specific ideologies can be identified in Chinese and Swedish college students’ narratives of reading English as a second language? (b) How do Chinese and Swedish college students act in relation to gender-specific ideologies in their everyday English reading practices? The study was conducted with a qualitative approach of narrative inquiry. Focal informants were four Chinese students and four Swedish students enrolled in English teacher education programs in their home countries. Data were collected over a sixmonth period with techniques of student journal writing, interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic observations. Baxter’s (2003) feminist poststructuralist discourse analysis framed and guided data analysis. The study found three recurrent English reading practices across cases that led to gendered identities construction. These were: making investment in English reading; adopting the strategy of reading English alone; and choosing English reading materials in relation to teachers. Overarching ideologies that shaped these practices included perceptions of reading as a more female-appropriate activity, male readers as independent readers who could solve problems on their own, and female readers as emotional readers who are sensitive to their relation with others. Informants’ actions in relation to these gender-specific ideologies fell into two major categories: conformance and resistance. Findings suggested that female informants seemed to be more ready to resist these ideologies whereas males tended to comply. Swedish informants seemed to demonstrate more awareness of and readiness to resist gendered ideologies compared to Chinese informants. The findings from this study imply that gendered ideologies can have both facilitating and debilitating effects on students’ reading experiences. Therefore, language teachers should develop a critical consciousness of gendered ideologies and how they relate to their students in specific contexts. In response to prevailing socioculturally constituted and power-laden ideologies, the study proposes a new perspective from which to interpret gender and reading English as a second language across cultures. Such a contribution adds momentum to the paradigm shift from essentialism to poststructuralism in second language acquisition that purports that gender is more than an identity label.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEnglish language - Study and teaching - Chinese speakers - Sex differences.
English language - Study and teaching - Swedish speakers - Sex differences.
Dept/ProgramEducation

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLuk, JCM-
dc.contributor.advisorWinter, SJ-
dc.contributor.authorLu, Hangyan.-
dc.contributor.author卢杭艳.-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationLu, H. [卢杭艳]. (2012). Doing gender in reading English as a second language : a multi-case study across China and Sweden. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4775290-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis reports a cross-cultural study that investigated the ways Chinese and Swedish college students do gender in their experiences of reading English as a second language. The concept “doing gender in reading” in this study derives from the view of reading as a social practice that leads to gendered identities construction. Previous studies, which mostly found that girls outperformed boys in reading achievement, created a linear relationship between gender and achievement. This study, informed by social theories of literacy (Gee, 2008; Street, 1984; Kress, 2010) and poststructuralist theories of gender (Weedon, 1997; Butler, 1990), explored how socially-constituted gendered ideologies might be instantiated and negotiated in college students’ experiences of reading English as a second language. It gave particular attention to diversity within and between genders and to the dynamics of students’ socio-culturally mediated reading practices. The study was guided by the following sub-questions: (a) What gender-specific ideologies can be identified in Chinese and Swedish college students’ narratives of reading English as a second language? (b) How do Chinese and Swedish college students act in relation to gender-specific ideologies in their everyday English reading practices? The study was conducted with a qualitative approach of narrative inquiry. Focal informants were four Chinese students and four Swedish students enrolled in English teacher education programs in their home countries. Data were collected over a sixmonth period with techniques of student journal writing, interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic observations. Baxter’s (2003) feminist poststructuralist discourse analysis framed and guided data analysis. The study found three recurrent English reading practices across cases that led to gendered identities construction. These were: making investment in English reading; adopting the strategy of reading English alone; and choosing English reading materials in relation to teachers. Overarching ideologies that shaped these practices included perceptions of reading as a more female-appropriate activity, male readers as independent readers who could solve problems on their own, and female readers as emotional readers who are sensitive to their relation with others. Informants’ actions in relation to these gender-specific ideologies fell into two major categories: conformance and resistance. Findings suggested that female informants seemed to be more ready to resist these ideologies whereas males tended to comply. Swedish informants seemed to demonstrate more awareness of and readiness to resist gendered ideologies compared to Chinese informants. The findings from this study imply that gendered ideologies can have both facilitating and debilitating effects on students’ reading experiences. Therefore, language teachers should develop a critical consciousness of gendered ideologies and how they relate to their students in specific contexts. In response to prevailing socioculturally constituted and power-laden ideologies, the study proposes a new perspective from which to interpret gender and reading English as a second language across cultures. Such a contribution adds momentum to the paradigm shift from essentialism to poststructuralism in second language acquisition that purports that gender is more than an identity label.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47752907-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching - Chinese speakers - Sex differences.-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching - Swedish speakers - Sex differences.-
dc.titleDoing gender in reading English as a second language: a multi-case study across China and Sweden-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4775290-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4775290-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

Export via OAI-PMH Interface in XML Formats


OR


Export to Other Non-XML Formats