On Normativity and Absence: Representation of LGBTI* in Textbook Research
The authors examine in this chapter how LGBTI* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and inter*) is considered in textbook research, analysing the relevant studies with regard to the conceptualisations of LGBTI* and the methods employed in those studies. The main focus of this chapter are the insufficiencies in present textbook research on LGBTI*, which starts with the subsumption of non-normative genders and sexualities under the umbrella term ‘LGBTI*’ and which more often than not results in inconsistent terminology. The authors of this chapter suggest to focus on intersectionalities of identifications and—in conjunction—to employ less standardised, more open methods when studying this subject, that is, researching normativities instead of the absence of LGBTI* in textbooks.
LGBTI* (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, inter*)1 is often used as an umbrella term for supposedly divergent and non-normatively gendered beings and sexual orientations or identities, without explicitly naming the supposed ‘normal’: the cisgendered and heteronormative. Its use is frequently accompanied by a host of problems: on the one hand, ‘LGBTI*’ masquerades as an encompassing label whose focus is actually limited to homosexuality and, occasionally, bisexuality; on the other, trans* and inter* people are often referred to (if at all) in the non-normative compartment of ‘LGBTI*’ instead of being included in studies on ‘gender’. These phenomena are apparent in most of the studies we analysed.
We found very few studies focusing on LGBTI*-related content in textbooks. However, those that do exist cover a wide range of subjects, mostly in textbooks for secondary school subjects such as: biology (Bittner 2011; Røthing and Svendsen 2010; Temple 2005; Bazzul and Sykes 2011), social science or education (Røthing and Svendsen 2010; Temple 2005), moral or religious education or life orientation (Temple 2005; Wilmot and Naidoo 2014), history (Hawkins 2012; Bittner 2011; Wylie 2012), and English literature or English as a second language (Hickman 2012; Bittner 2011). We found two studies that focus on primary school textbooks: Pointer (2006; primers) and Jochim (2014; mathematics, English as a second language, German language and literature, and ethics). Most of the studies focus mainly on textbooks from the global north such as the United States (Hawkins 2012; Hickman 2012), Norway (Røthing and Svendsen 2010), Canada (Temple 2005; Bazzul and Sykes 2011), Germany (Bittner 2011; Jochim 2014), and Austria (Pointner 2006), the only exception being one analysis of South African textbooks (Wilmot and Naidoo 2014).
We consider four global conditions to be important, and although these may differ at local levels, they frame the (political) context of this chapter.
The first condition is that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and inter* subjects continue to be discriminated against and marginalised all over the world, both institutionally and in everyday life (Spade 2011, pp. 19–48; Lister 2003, pp. 191–207; Franzen and Beger 2002, pp. 53–68; TGEU 2015). It is reasonable to presume that schooling and textbooks reflect, represent, and reproduce societal knowledge, and therefore we may also assume that textbooks play a decisive role in upholding this structure of inequality and discrimination (see, e.g., Apple 2000).
The second condition is a global shift concerning gay and lesbian rights that partly contradicts the first. This is the supposed association of ‘gay-friendliness’ with ‘Western modernity’, as opposed to homophobia being a characteristic of allegedly traditional and non-Western societies. Jasbir Puar (2007, 2013) has coined the term ‘homonationalism’ to explain how demands for gay equality are taken as an indicator of ‘progress’ in modern, Westernised societies, which at the same time racialises homophobia and risks perpetuating white-Western supremacy.
The third condition, which is related to the second, concerns the (global) struggles for and protests against (essentially) gay visibility and policies that counter the discrimination and marginalisation of LGBTI* subjects. These movements may be state-backed, for example, the Russian federal law banning ‘the propagation of homosexualism [sic] among minors’. They can also take the form of ‘grass-root’ and anti-government protests such as the Manif pour tous (March for All) movement against same-sex marriage and the right to adoption for same-sex couples in France, the demonstrations of besorgte Eltern (concerned parents) against more inclusive curricula in Germany, evangelicals within (and outside) the United States, and so on. These protests develop transnational ties and manage to mobilise a surprisingly large amount of people and groups with different agendas to form a movement that includes anti-feminists, anti-abortionists, Christian fundamentalists, right-wing populist and neo-Nazi parties, national conservative anti-liberals, and anti-Westerners. These protests also operate within the global condition of homonationalism, as outlined by Puar. Yet, they attack that condition for the (partial) inclusion of homosexual populations rather than criticise its racialised exclusions.
The fourth and final condition relates to the dominant and central symbol or signifier in these constellations and struggles, which remains the image of the white, able-bodied, cisgendered male marked as homosexual (‘the modern gay’; Keinz 2010) despite attempts to reframe emancipatory struggles as struggles for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and inter* rights using the inclusive umbrella term ‘LGBTI*’. More often than not, while ‘LGBT’ or ‘LGBTI*’ are employed as labels, the agenda still focuses mainly on white, middle-class, able-bodied, cisgendered male gays.
These four conditions guide this review of textbook analyses that have focused on the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and inter* people and of homosexuality or heteronormativity. The analysis and critique of how gender binarism (see Chisholm in this volume), homophobia, and heteronormativity are portrayed in textbooks is important and necessary, as is a reflection on the categories employed in those analyses and their inherent fallacies and problematic implications.
Motivations for Textbook Analysis
The main findings of most studies analysed for this chapter is that LGBTI* subjects are either barely represented in the textbooks examined and/or that the textbooks are fundamentally heterosexist, which also applies when LGBTI* is reduced solely to homosexuality. These findings will not surprise those acutely aware of the world’s heteronormative condition; others might be surprised at the degree of ignorance surrounding LGBTI* representation in textbooks, even in countries regarding themselves as progressive and inclusive. Subsequently, most studies show that lesbian, gay, trans*, or inter* people are barely covered, if at all, in textbooks. When mentioned, the context tends towards the negative (Temple 2005; Wylie 2012). Allusions to LGBTI* topics in textbooks are generally limited to references to ‘gay’, and most of the countries covered are active in constructing the idea of the ‘modern gay’, keen to prove their own ‘modernity’ and ‘progressiveness’ in this area through comparison to other countries. This shows that a progressive inclusion of LGBTI* does not imply the existence of an actively intersectional , anti-discriminatory attitude.
The question is therefore: Why conduct textbook research in general and why focus on the subject of LGBTI* in textbooks in particular? Obviously there are reasons inherent to the logic of the scholarly field, such as: topic 1 is researched in context a, but not in context b, therefore it should be researched. It is in this vein that Jeffrey Hawkins (2012, p. 241) states: ‘Though a number of studies on sexual identity content in textbooks exist … currently there is an absence of research that specifically examines LGBTQ content in U.S. history textbooks’ (Hawkins uses Q for ‘questioning’). A similar reason for conducting textbook research would be the advancement of the theory and/or methodology of the field. This particular scholarly interest was not at the centre of the studies we analysed, which predominantly applied established methods to the analysis of ‘content’, ‘discourse’, and textbooks as ‘semiotic products’. Yet, textbooks also differ from other possible sources of analysis, as they are compulsory reading for those able to, entitled to, and compelled to be part of national schooling. The interest in analysing textbooks derives from the assumed conditions of their reception. ‘Textbooks, on the one hand, have influence on the self-perception and interpersonal perception of students and, on the other hand, they are representations of actual societal norms’2 (Jochim 2014, p. 1). As canonised, state-backed knowledge, textbooks can also be analysed and critiqued as reproducing forms of inequality in the way they represent ‘facts’, ‘events’, ‘persons’, and ‘developments’. In reproducing inequalities, textbooks become representations of inequality themselves. Therefore, critique and analysis of textbooks is viable and necessary (see also Behnke and Kolbeck and Röhl in this volume on textbook effects and practices, respectively).
Stating that heterosexism is pervasive in Canadian society and that it takes different forms, Julia Temple (2005, p. 272) asks: ‘But to what extent does heterosexism exist in Canadian textbooks?’ Mark Wilmot and Devika Naidoo (2014, p. 323) frame their question similarly: ‘Heterosexism and heteronormativity are pervasive in the [sic] South African society, but to what degree are they present in Life Orientation (LO) textbooks?’ Due to the marginalisation of ‘LGBTQ persons’ and the lack of visibility afforded them, Hawkins (2012, p. 236) strives ‘to showcase an analysis of LGBTQ content for comprehension, accuracy, and realism in current U.S. history textbooks’. Scott Wylie (2012, p. 130) seeks to answer the question: ‘In what ways are commonly adopted [US] secondary world history textbooks complicit in furthering a heteronormative worldview?’ Bittner (2011) refers to normative documents such as the German constitution, national laws, and international conventions in order to substantiate claims for non-discrimination and inclusion, thus arguing from a normative stance for changes to curricula and textbooks. Jochim (2014) essentially conducts a study on male-female stereotyping in textbooks, but also points out that the absence of trans* and inter* examples maintains gender binarism and that the absence of sexualities other than heterosexuality reinforces heteronormativity. Pointner (2006) criticises how the textbooks in question do not reference pluralised ways of life in general; the study does not analyse whether LGBTI* topics are present but rather how textbooks propagate normative perspectives on gender binarism and heteronormativity.
The studies draw an analogy between textbooks and society by plausibly assuming that textbooks reproduce societal structures of inequality; hence the importance of examining them. This assumption is supported by several arguments: the view that the textbook is the curriculum’s de facto representation, as the textbook has a ‘“highly held” and “unquestioned” status’ (Hawkins 2012, pp. 238–9; cf. Jochim 2014, p. 1; Hickman 2012, p. 74; Wilmot and Naidoo 2014, p. 324) and the fact that ‘many educators rely upon the content of their adopted textbooks to structure their classes’ (Hawkins 2012, p. 238; see also Hansen in this volume). Textbooks, therefore, can be considered the ‘official arbiter of official knowledge’ (Bazzul and Sykes 2011, p. 273; cf. Jochim 2014, p. 3) and are thus ‘often perceived as natural rather than subjective interpretations of reality’ (Bazzul and Sykes 2011, p. 273). Wilmot and Naidoo (2014, p. 324) state that in ‘modern societies, the curriculum of schools [and the textbook in particular] provides the most powerful way to establish the norm, to police observance of it and coerce conformance with that norm’, as—citing education theorist Michael Apple—textbooks ‘participate in creating what “a society has recognised as legitimate and truthful” and “help set the canons of truthfulness”’.
When conceiving of the textbook as a kind of ‘machine to produce hegemony’,3 it is not surprising that most of the authors in our sample commit themselves to evaluating the presence or absence of LGBTI*-related content. Criticism of the textbooks becomes a critique of society and a potential lever to induce change. This is one possible reason why most studies’ authors find their subjects, the textbooks themselves, to be at fault rather than other scholars’ interpretations of them. While we appreciate the necessity of this type of textbook analysis and critique, we do not believe this approach is likely to produce any unexpected results, as the critical aspect of the study becomes more important than the search for new findings. A seemingly more complex approach is taken by Åse Røthing and Stine H. Bang Svendsen (2010, p. 149) when they ask ‘why young [Norwegian] people often remain homophobic concerning themselves, even when they are positive toward homosexuals in general’. This question differs from those asked by other studies, as it addresses Norwegian discourses on homosexuality by including textbook analysis instead of conducting only an evaluation of textbooks regarding the presence of LGBTI* realities. Pointner (2006) uses a more postmodern, Western approach based on middle- and upper-class values: the author promotes a pedagogy of diversity and assumes the existence of a diverse society when criticising that the textbooks are not based in the realities of children’s lives (on diversity in a broader scope see Niehaus in this volume). Pointner characterises the representations in textbooks as stereotypically binary-gendered and reflecting a heterosexual norm, and calls for a less stereotypical approach.
What Should Be Analysed When Conducting Research into LGBTI* Representation?
As the term LGBTI* has several implications, some of which overlap and others that reflect different concepts (sexual orientation/identity, gender identity, heteronormativity, heterosexism, gender binarism), we have examined studies that employ different analytical categories. Common to almost every study is a social constructionist approach to questions of gender identity and sexual orientation/identity with heteronormativity frequently the central conceptual link between gender and sexuality (heteronormativity presupposes gender binarism). The only exception is Jeffrey Hawkins, who employs the term ‘LGBTQ’ and uses a rather positivist conception in order to counter the idea that being LGBTI* is a matter of personal (therefore alterable or ‘correctable’) choice (see Hawkins 2012, p. 243).
Julia Temple’s (2005) study focuses on ‘same-sex sexuality’ and heteronormativity, which is understood as ‘the assumption that heterosexuality is superior to all other types of sexuality’ (p. 272). Temple acknowledges that considering non-binary sex/gender conceptions as well would have further complicated the analysis (see Temple 2005, p. 278); in other words, the author does not attempt to draw conclusions regarding the encompassing term ‘LGBTI*’. The study does not employ the term ‘queer’ in order to ‘not slip into a queer/heterosexual dichotomy’ (p. 278). Such careful reflection of the categories employed is frequently missing from other studies. In summing up their study, Røthing and Svendsen (2010, p. 147) equate being ‘LGBT’ to ‘living a non-heterosexual life’, thereby ignoring the fact that the ‘T[rans*]’ in ‘LGBT’ often has little to do with being non-heterosexual. They are not the only authors to demonstrate misconceptions in their employment of certain terms. While Jeffrey Hawkins (2012, p. 244) insists on using ‘inclusive and diverse terms’ and criticises US history textbooks for using ‘the limited term Homosexual’, there is a huge gap between Hawkins’ actual findings (that gays and, to a lesser extent, lesbians are represented in textbooks) and Hawkins’ conclusion: ‘Fortunately, for this study, comprehensive, accurate and realistic information was presented overwhelmingly throughout the nine U.S. history textbooks analysed for LGBTQ portrayals.’ Hawkins does not, however, expand on how the representation of gays and lesbians can be viewed as ‘comprehensive’. A similar conflation of categories can be found in Heather Hickman’s (2012) study, which uses the term ‘LGBT’. In Hickman’s criticism of textbooks’ perpetuation of heteronormativity, there is no allusion to the evidence of cisgender binarism in those same textbooks. Although Scott Wylie (2012) and Wilmot and Naidoo (2014) note that ‘transgender’ is not mentioned in the textbooks analysed, they continue to employ the category ‘LGBT’. In doing so, they leave out questions of gender identity and refer only to questions of heteronormativity and sexuality/sexual orientation, thus contributing to a misconception of the term ‘LGBT’ (Wylie 2012). Even though Jochim (2014) seems to perceive trans* and inter* as undermining gender binarism, trans* and inter* topics are framed inconsistently: sometimes as gender identity, sometimes as sexuality (p. 62).
There are, however, also authors who manage to focus on trans* and inter* people in their studies, in the frame of gender identity, Melanie Bittner (2011, p. 10) outlines the nexus between gender binarism and heteronormativity, in which heterosexuality is presented as the norm whilst homosexuality and bisexuality are framed as deviations from this norm. Yet, all three presuppose established binary gender constructions (Bittner 2011, p. 11). This is also illustrated by Jesse Bazzul and Heather Sykes (2011, p. 268), who state: ‘Since conceptions of gender and sexuality often intertwine it is impossible to fully separate mutually dependent heteronormative and gender/sex binary discourses that operate together in a text; one supporting the other.’ Their study examines a biology textbook for elements reproducing both heteronormativity and sex/gender binarism. Jochim (2014, p. 98) and Bittner (2011, p. 12) both address gender norms and stereotypes that presuppose and reproduce gender binarism. They thereby reject, to a greater or lesser degree, the common academic practice of either focusing on representations of ‘gender’ (the binary male and female) or focusing on representations of LGBTI* as encompassing the ‘deviant rest’ (non-heterosexual and non-normative, non-binary-gendered). Bittner (2011), Bazzul and Sykes (2011), Jochim (2014), and Hickman (2012) also analyse the ways in which heterosexuality is represented as ‘normal’ and the normative sexuality and how homo- or bisexuality are framed as exceptions.
Angela Pointner’s (2006) approach differs from most others, in that it does not explicitly look at whether trans*, inter*, or any kind of sexuality are represented in textbooks but rather how young children are already subject to normative binary gendering and how heteronormative behaviour dominates as ‘normal’ in primary school textbooks.
The distinction between ‘gender’ and LGBTI* is also reproduced in other research. While this chapter discusses analyses of LGBTI*-related content in textbooks, there are other papers on gender, which analyse the representation of cisgendered females and males in textbooks. Thus, trans* and inter* people are once again covered not in the category of gender but under the umbrella of the ‘deviant rest’, the non-normative sexualities and genders. This distinction may also be a result of the categories used in the textbook analyses. While nearly all authors of the studies we examined seem to highlight the continuing discrimination against and mis- and non-representation of LGBTI* (the first global condition we outlined earlier in this chapter), there are only two studies in our sample that adequately address the fourth condition outlined earlier in this chapter: the incorrect and problematic equation of LGBTI* to (mostly male) homosexuality.
All of the studies analysed use the terms ‘LGBTI*’, ‘gender’, and ‘sexuality’ interchangeably, and none of the studies discusses the categorisations as being normative themselves. Some of the studies mention intersectionality, although none of them applies a consistent, interdependent approach to analysing the role of gender and sexuality within power relations or discrimination based on race, ability, class, or age, for example. In other words, none of the studies offers a conceptual approach accounting for the ways in which gender is always interwoven with race, ability, class and age, or how each combination produces its own positionality. This may be a result of data collection methods that tend to count how often each individual category is mentioned in the textbooks, making it difficult to assess the power-based relationships between them.
Hawkins (2012, p. 249) mentions two quotations from one history textbook illustrating that homosexuality is not only a white, middle-class phenomenon, but the author does not consequently translate this inference to an approach consciously looking for intersectionality. Bittner (2011, p. 50) addresses other forms of ‘diversity’ and inequality and their representation, or lack of it, in the textbooks analysed: ‘In the [textbook] Duden Biologie 7/8 one of the [gay] boys is black, which could be viewed as a positive example of diversity and which also avoids a racist instrumentalisation of homophobia as being a problem of Muslim people, for example, instead of being a general social problem’4 (p. 80). Bittner also mentions as a positive the fact that the textbooks depict people of different ages and some textbooks do not exclusively depict able-bodied people (Bittner 2011, p. 52). Røthing and Svendsen (2010) focus more analytically than Bittner on the intersection of attitudes towards homosexuality, sexual self-identification, and ethnicity : ‘Positive attitudes toward homosexuality are depicted in teaching as something that characterises Norwegian society and Norwegian citizens and as a virtue ethnic minority students and immigrants in Norway preferably should acquire to become part of the national collective’ (p. 150). Wilmot and Naidoo (2014) mention dimensions of power structures other than sexual orientation in order to point out that sexual orientation is not included in the list of discriminations named in the analysed textbook. However, this does not lead them to take an interdependent approach. In Hickman’s (2012) analysis, other power structures appear only in citations that characterise queer theory or in demands for inclusive schooling and textbooks; in the analysis itself they are absent. The analyses by Wylie (2012), Bazzul and Sykes (2011), and Temple (2005) do not mention other power relations at all. Pointner (2006) explicitly uses the term ‘pedagogy of diversity’ but only focuses on the two categories of gender and sexuality. Pointner presents a critique on gender and sexuality/family as a ‘neutral’ analysis without referring to the fact that gender and heteronormativity are themselves interdependent, whilst also being intertwined with other power structures.
Methodologically, the majority of the studies examined follow a rather standardised research approach, ultimately discussing the presence or absence of LGBTI* topics in textbooks, despite applying nominally qualitative and ‘non-standardised’ methods such as content analysis, discourse analysis, and queer theoretical readings. Jeffrey Hawkins (2012), for example, finds that as few as 0.006% of the textbook pages analysed and only 0.003% of the total sentences in the sample ‘were devoted to LGBTQ portrayals’ (p. 245). Scott Wylie (2012, p. 133) searches the indices of seven history textbooks ‘for the terms homosexuality , heterosexuality, sexuality, sexual orientation, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender’ (italics in the original) and finds no mention of them. Wylie then goes on to investigate more thoroughly the topics that prior research on LGBTI* representation in US history textbooks has identified as relevant (Alexander the Great, Jane Addams, classical Greece, Civil Rights, the Holocaust, HIV/AIDS) in order to highlight the textbooks’ omissions and distortions regarding (mostly male) homosexuality (see Wylie 2012, p. 134).
Bazzul and Sykes (2011, p. 270) reference Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality to support their focus on absence(s): ‘As Foucault [...] asserts, what functions alongside what is said is what is not said, and both are integral to whatever strategies underlie a particular discourse’ (italics in the original). Revealing and criticising this absence is significant as it demonstrates the continuing stigmatisation and silencing of LGBTI* populations and suggests that this process is tacitly perpetuated by textbooks. In examining ways to combat this discrimination and omission, it would be beneficial to conduct a closer evaluation of textbooks rather than simply a critique, by posing questions other than: ‘Are LGBTI* people represented or not?’5 This type of question can only be answered by applying pre-established and fixed categories of LGBTI*, sexual orientation, ‘gender’, and gender identity, that is to say by dismissing the possibilities present in qualitative methods.
Simply dismissing those categories would not necessarily be helpful since they are essential to emancipatory struggles, they are powerful analytical tools, and they are important for encouraging general and academic reflection on the subject. Yet, as long as there is so little LGBTI*-related content in textbooks, evaluating textbooks on the basis of these categories will continue to yield similar results. We argue, therefore, that future analyses focusing on LGBTI*-related content in textbooks should pose far more open-ended questions. Take, for instance, heteronormativity as the normative idea that human beings should be gendered for their whole lives as either male or female and should desire only other individuals who accept this lifelong gender binarism and identify as opposite to those that they desire. We could ask whether textbooks support this normative idea. We could, as well, pose many open-ended questions: How is the gender binary established, and how is the boundary between these two genders maintained? How does male/female gender stereotyping support and/or oppose this boundary? What is the relationship between the norms governing this boundary and those norms that are essential to upholding boundaries of race, class, ability, or age? How are attraction, sympathy, sexuality, friendship, love, intimacy, sexual and non-sexual reproduction, relationships and family related to each other? What are ambivalent or contradictory statements? What are the presuppositions of those statements? How are those ambivalences/contradictions to be mitigated, and by whom? If the textbook is silent on contradictions, for example, should it be presumed that teachers will answer questions arising from ambivalences/contradictions? In this case, relevant information could be obtained through complementary interviews with teachers and students and/or through participant observation in classrooms.
Precisely because there is hardly any LGBTI*-related content in textbooks, it would be more interesting and revealing to investigate what exactly is present instead of what is absent and how categories, norms, and power relations (and thus discursive and social boundaries) are produced, maintained, altered, and changed. This implies a reading of textbooks as not representing fixed, static, and stable meanings (even when textbook authors are at pains to stabilise meaning) but as a medium containing multiple, inherently unstable narratives that rely on external texts and discourses. In other words, textbooks should be seen and analysed as ‘dialogic’ (Bakhtin 1981) even if they are intended to be ‘monologic’. Therefore, reconstructing both the dominant and the other non-dominant and marginalised narratives of sexuality and gender identity within textbooks could reveal more than simply counting and evaluating the rare occurrences when LGBTI* is not absent.
We believe that only this kind of interpretative, non-standardised close reading, an almost ethnographic approach, will yield more illuminating academic results, and that current approaches will continue to reproduce existing findings until textbooks significantly change with regard to their treatment of sexuality and gender identity. The prevailing and rather standardised approach is still helpful in raising awareness of the ongoing silencing of and discrimination against gay populations despite their emergence in mainstream society. However, it will fail to render visible those who cannot pass into dominant society. As we have outlined earlier in this chapter, there are many power structures that must be considered in any discussion of gender identity and sexuality. Only a truly interdependent approach would include a critique of homonationalism and the instrumentalisation of LGBTI* topics in discourses about ‘Western modernity’. Addressing the interdependence of these structures requires more open and fewer standardised approaches.
The appended asterisk * is used to make visible the endless possibilities of gender identifications and sexualities. Through this we point out that the acronym ‘LGBTI’ represents just a narrow range of possibilities and is already subject to processes of normalisation/normalised naming by way of categorisation.
‘Schulbücher haben einerseits also einen Einfluss auf Fremd- und Selbstbilder der SchülerInnen und sind andererseits eine Abbildung derzeitiger gesellschaftlicher Normen.’
As Wylie (2012, p. 143) puts it: ‘Students tend to take knowledge at face value and seldom question the assumptions and interpretations of the text.’
‘In Duden Biologie 7/8 ist einer der Jungen Schwarz, was als positives Beispiel für Diversity angeführt werden kann, während es außerdem vermeidet einer rassistischen Funktionalisierung von Homophobie als Problem von z.B. muslimischen Menschen statt als gesamtgesellschaftliches Problem in die Hände zu spielen.’
Posing semantically open-ended questions does not change the matter, for example, in Hickman’s formulation: ‘How do schools and their curricula—as demonstrated in textbook content—marginalize students who are, or are perceived to be, LGBT?’ (2012, p. 71). ‘How?’ in this context is equivalent to ‘Whether?’, as the evidence found in the textbooks answers both questions equivalently.
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