An exploration of the ideology in economic and management sciences textbooks : a critical discourse analysis.
Pupils acquire skills, knowledge, values and attitudes through the important institution of education. An essential tool used in the transmission of these socially approved attitudes and values is the textbook. Because teacher content knowledge is an ongoing challenge in South Africa, school textbooks are being viewed as an important source of content knowledge. Textbooks used in the apartheid era in South Africa were subjects of numerous studies which found that textbooks were capable of transmitting the dominant ideology of the then apartheid government. Given the important role that textbooks are expected to play in postapartheid South African classroom, it becomes crucial to examine the ideologies being reflected and transmitted through this medium of instruction in the post-apartheid era. This study therefore set out to explore the ideologies that are manifest in Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) textbooks. This study adopted a qualitative research approach and engaged the tenets of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as its methodological framework. The use of CDA revealed how the content of the selected EMS textbooks represent particular ideologically orientations. The dominant discourses that emerged from the analysis were the stereotypical positioning of gender roles (a subjugation of women; contingency of women‟s success on male support); entrepreneurship leads to wealth creation; the advocacy of a free-market system; reinforcement of the hegemonic positioning of business; deficient service provisioning as a normality; business and production‟s precedence over the environment and finally that globalisation is natural and unproblematic. These discourses disclose that the textbooks under study have profound strains of neoliberal ideology. The content of the textbooks legitimates the values of the free market system and neoliberalism as it reinforces and reifies the normality of personal wealth accumulation and individual endeavour. EMS textbooks were thus found to have potential as hegemonic tools capable of influencing pupils toward assimilating and accepting the ideology of neo-liberalism as being natural, ethical, moral and acceptable.