A Foucauldian Analysis of Representations of Mathematicians in Lower Secondary Mexican Mathematics Textbooks

  • Mario Sánchez AguilarEmail author
  • Apolo Castaneda


We report on a study focused on identifying how the notion of “the mathematician” is constructed in lower secondary Mexican mathematics textbooks. To conduct the study, we adopted a Foucauldian approach that allows us to identify the way in which the notion of the mathematician is constructed but also to delineate the possible effects that such construction may have on students’ subjectivities. Results show that the representations of mathematicians that most frequently appear in these textbooks are males, mainly Europeans, who lived in ancient times. The representations of female mathematicians are almost nil. We conceptualize the representations of mathematicians contained in these mathematics textbooks as part of a discourse that creates realities and constructs subjectivities, and suggest a theoretical explanation of the mechanisms that allow these representations to circulate and to be perpetuated.


Foucault Discourse Representations of mathematicians Mathematics textbooks 



We want to thank the anonymous reviewers who, through the reviewing process of this paper, helped us to develop our understanding of Foucauldian discourse analysis.


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Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programa de Matemática Educativa, CICATA LegariaInstituto Politécnico NacionalMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.DIE-CINVESTAV, Departamento de Investigaciones EducativasCentro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico NacionalMexico CityMexico

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