Visual Representations of Norwegian Language Learners in Norwegian Second Language Textbooks.
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- Master's theses (HF-IKS) 
This thesis presents a study of how Norwegian language learners are visually represented in three Norwegian second language (NSL) textbooks produced for adult learners of Norwegian language. Using social actor analysis and critical visual literacy, the study investigates whether images presenting Norwegian language learners portray them as potential members of a culturally diverse Norway, or as “exotic” and “other”. The study focuses on aspects of otherizing, stereotyping and power relations between groups of people expressed through visual discourse in the NSL textbooks. The purpose of the study is to examine whether there are any patterns in the visual representation of Norwegian language learners in the textbooks. Drawing on the assumptions of critical discourse analysis that social processes influence the modes and content of visual representations, the study connects these patterns to the socio-political situation in present Norway. The Theory of Recognition is drawn upon to further the analysis with regard to whether the images represent Norwegian language learners with recognition of their agency and potential for Norwegian society. The study also investigates to what degree the images of the Norwegian language learners promote or contradict the primary aims of the Norwegian language program for adults stipulated in The Introduction Law. The results of the study indicate that there is a tendency in the three NSL textbooks examined to show Norwegian language learners and representatives of Norwegian society as social, cultural and biological strangers. Notably, the strategy of otherizing is apparent in the visual images of the representatives of Norwegian society, who are portrayed as separate from the Norwegian language learners viewing the textbook. Additionally, the comparative analysis between the image corpora of Norwegian language learners versus representatives of Norwegian society reveals a tendency to portray Norwegian language learners in less powerful positions than representatives of Norwegian society. Consequently, the study shows that images in the selected NSL textbooks may be indicative of social ideologies and can potentially transfer an unintended hidden curriculum to Norwegian language learners that they hold lower social status and are separate from the Norwegian mainstream.
Master's thesis in Literacy studies