The construction and representation of sexual and gender diversity in Namibian school textbooks: Global discourses or Southern African realities?

  • Anthony Brown
  • Finn Reygan

Abstract

Liberal, western approaches to non-normative sexuality and gender have been roundly critiqued by queer education theorists for their regulation of sexuality and their perpetuation of cisgenderism and heteronormativity. School textbooks are a key regulatory site for the control of gender and sexuality and create zones of inclusion and exclusion in school systems. In Southern Africa sexuality and gender diversity has become a key site for global culture wars between locally embedded understandings and more global (read Western) discourses. Therefore we analysed 5 school textbooks in the Life Skills subject area in Namibia and found a clear attempt at liberal constructions and representations of sexual and gender diversity. This contrasts with local and national level understandings of non-normative sexualities and genders and is strongly influenced by Namibia’s signatory status to a wide number of global education agreements that reflect a liberal humanistic under­standing of sexual and gender rights.

Published
2019-06-30
How to Cite
Brown, A., & Reygan, F. (2019). The construction and representation of sexual and gender diversity in Namibian school textbooks: Global discourses or Southern African realities?. Journal of Namibian Studies : History Politics Culture, 25, 31-46. Retrieved from https://namibian-studies.com/index.php/JNS/article/view/8326
Section
Articles