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Ethnographies of Schooling in Contemporary India

Ethnographies of Schooling in Contemporary India

First Edition
Edited by:

June 2014 | 378 pages | SAGE India

The influence of popular culture, media and aggressive marketing of consumer goods all enter the school arena to compete with the more formal aspects of being at school and contribute to the creation of a unique school culture. It is essential to unpack and unravel the rich and engaged world of student culture as it is constructed in school life. Ethnographies of Schooling in Contemporary India attempts to understand meaning and meaning-making in school processes in India as active aspects of a vibrant school culture. We are reminded that students, in any kind of school, are engaged participants in schooling processes.

The significance of autobiographical experience in both writing school ethnographies and understanding school life cannot be overemphasised. This volume seeks to also understand this significant aspect of constructing school worlds. 

Meenakshi Thapan
Introduction: Understanding School Experience
Anuradha Sharma
Negotiating School and Gender: Peer Performatives
Maitrayee Deka
Schooling and the Production of Student Culture: Principles and Practice
Anannya Gogoi
Kiranjyoti Vidyalaya: A Sociological Narrative of a Government School
Meenakshi Thapan
Schooling, Identity and Citizenship Education
Parul Bhandari
In Quest of Identity: Student Culture in a Religious Minority Institution
Tanya Matthan, Chandana Anusha and Meenakshi Thapan
Being Muslim, Becoming Citizens: A Muslim Girls’ School in Post-riot Ahmedabad
Bhavya Dore
Living in the Bubble: Rishi Valley School and the Sense of Community
Meenakshi Thapan
School Experience: An Autobiographical Approach

In richly detailed studies of very different schools across India, Meenakshi Thapan and her colleagues build a common argument: Each school seeks in its own way to shape students into ‘citizens’ through discipline and ritual, but students counter by constructing their own peer cultures. This is an essential contribution to the ethnography of education—and the lively student voices make it a delight to read.

Kathryn Anderson-Levitt
Professor Emerita of Anthropology, University of Michigan
Dearborn and Faculty Member, University of California, Los Angeles

Agency, meaning, experience: these crucial concepts demarcate this exceptional, profoundly insightful text. Focused on student as well as school culture, on citizenship, justice, and morality, this comprehensive, incisive, ecumenical collection commands sustained attention from scholars in every speciality.

William F. Pinar
Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

True to its title, this is an extremely interesting and comprehensive anthology of essays on schooling experiences which draws upon the heterogeneity that marks school life in India both in terms of the variety of schools that exist and the facets of school life, considered to be the key construals of the schooling experiences of students and that have a bearing on their construction of citizenship and identity.

Namitha Ranganathan
Professor of Education, Central Institute of Education, University of Delhi

The book is a wonderful introduction to understanding schooling and is the first such welcome initiative.

eSocial Sciences Review

An attempt to get deep insight into the heterogeneity of the student culture. The editor has carefully selected the issues to cover a broad spectrum of schools and schooling in contemporary can serve a good source of relevant information, for teachers and educators to improve the quality of teaching-learning process in schools.

The Tribune

A collection of ethnographic studies conducted on various schools in India… the book is an important contribution to the anthropological studies on schooling in India and, perhaps, one of the most definitive works on the subject.

Business World

The book aims towards an ‘understanding of the experience of education…(of) life at school, or what goes on within schools…through a focus on participants in the schooling process’… the book presents a sampling of short ethnographic studies from various schools…. [It is] a welcome addition to the field of ethnographic studies of schools in India. It will contribute especially to discussions around student culture and schooling and citizenship.

Contribution to Indian Sociology,
Volume 50(Issue 3), October 2016

Meenakshi Thapan’s book entices the reader into a familiar…exciting and tumultuous world of schools, where, besides teachers and principals, students emerge as chief protagonists…Adopting a flesh and blood approach, the book traverses briefly through textbooks and pedagogic encounters in classrooms and largely through the relatively unexplored spaces of school assemblies, houses…and so on.

Society and Culture in South Asia,
Volume 2 (Issue 2), July 2016

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ISBN: 9789353880149
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