Discoursal representation of masculine parenting in Arabic and English websites

Mohammed Nahar Al-Ali and Hanan A. Shatat
Jordan University of Science and Technology


The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences and similarities between Arabic and English parents’ role in Arabic and English parenting website texts and the linguistic exponents used to address parents and signal their roles, and to find out the socio-cultural ideologies that have given rise to variations in gender roles. To this end, a corpus of 40 articles targeting gender-neutral titles and father related ones were selected equally from English and Arabic websites. Drawing on Van Leeuwen’s (2008) framework on critical discourse analysis (CDA) and Sunderland’s (2000, 2006) framework of analysis, the data were analysed and contrasted. The English texts reflected the prevalence of ‘shared parenting’ discourse, whereas the Arabic ones revealed a ‘very traditional parenthood’ discourse. These differences can be attributed to variation in the socio-cultural practices dominant in Arab and Western societies. Such findings will hopefully provide some useful insights for family life educators and parents who resort to such websites.

Publication history
Table of contents

Parenthood research has become of interest to professionals (e.g., midwives, doctors, and psychologists) to assess fathers and mothers, especially those married couples expecting a baby, or having a new baby. Thus, we analyze website texts as a source of parenting information addressed to heterosexual parents. Such texts would be a fruitful source on addressing and representing gender’s different roles, relations, and practices. As a general note, this article will not explore parenthood texts targeting gay parents or the single mother or single father.

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