Inclusive and exclusive uses of we in four American textbooks for multicultural teacher education

Uzum B., Yazan B., Selvi A. F.

LANGUAGE TEACHING RESEARCH, vol.22, no.5, pp.625-647, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1362168817718576
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.625-647
  • Keywords: critical discourse, education textbooks, intercultural competence, teacher education, pronouns, INTERCULTURAL CITIZENSHIP, LANGUAGE, TEXTS


This study analyses four American multicultural teacher education textbooks for instances of inclusive and exclusive representations through the use of first person plural pronouns (i.e. we, us, our, ours). Positioning theory is used as a theoretical framework to examine the textbook authors' uses of first person plural pronouns and to understand how these pronouns perform reflexive and interactive positioning and fluidly (re)negotiate and (re)delineate the borders between self' and other.' The findings suggest that first person plural pronouns are used extensively in the focal textbooks to refer to such groups as authors, Americans, humans, teachers, and teacher educators. Expressing differing levels of ambiguity in interpretation, these pronouns play significant roles in the discursive representations of inclusivity and exclusivity across topics of multicultural education. This study implicates that language teachers should use criticality and reflexivity when approaching exclusionary discourses and representations that neglect the particularities of individuals from different cultures.