The portrayal of non-westerners in EFL textbooks in Norway
The discourse of equity and egalitarianism has a long pedigree in Norway. However, this discourse has recently come under severe strain as evidenced by the growing segregation of schools along ethnic lines in the capital Oslo. This paper considers the portrayal of non-westerners in four English textbooks used in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in upper secondary schools (vg1 & vg 2; 11th & 12th grade) in Norway. Eight short stories are critically explored employing a postcolonial theoretical framework. The findings reveal a consistent pattern in which representations of characters from non-western backgrounds (Asian, Native American, Black and Hispanic, in particular) tap into topoi of Orientalism and the “racialized Other”. The salience of contrapuntal pedagogy as a counterpoint in addressing the challenges thrown up by Orientalism in EFL textbooks is considered.