The compliant wife, the good mother and other normalizing constructions of womanhood: a critical discourse analysis of idealized female identities within Turkish educational policy

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Küçükakin P., Engin Demir C.

CRITICAL STUDIES IN EDUCATION, vol.63, no.4, pp.451-467, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/17508487.2021.1899950
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Periodicals Index Online, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • Page Numbers: pp.451-467
  • Keywords: Female identity, gender inequalities in education, policy discourse, critical discourse analysis, GENDER
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The present study analyzes discursive practices that work to construct particular female identities and re/construct gender inequalities in Turkish educational system. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) was utilized to analyze 124 publicly available educational policy documents directly related to gender in education. Additionally, CDA was applied to a total of 252 Turkish newspaper clippings published over the last decade in 14 different national newspapers. Analysis of the data was used to critically examine perceptions of teachers regarding gender issues in education. A total of 13 semi-structured interviews with teachers working at public schools in Ankara province were conducted for this purpose. The analysis describes the effects of discourse produced by and through the framing of policies and educational practices that shape Turkish social identities. Specific discursive effects examined include the construction and normalization of a female identity that is inferior, submissive, and conservative.