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Schooling Gender in Rural Pakistan: An Ethnographic study of the Primary School and its Role in Gender Construction

Channa, Abdul Razaque

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This thesis focuses on the contribution of schooling to gender construction in rural Sindh Province. It focuses on the Government Main Primary School Khuda Bukhsh Soomro. The school is in Shahdadkot, a rural town in Sindh Province, Pakistan. In principle, education is considered a means to provide knowledge in terms of literacy, numeracy and civic awareness. I analyse whether, in addition to the formal knowledge taught in the school or produced in and through...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorChanna, Abdul Razaque
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-24T00:50:56Z
dc.identifier.otherb40394530
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/110546
dc.description.abstractThis thesis focuses on the contribution of schooling to gender construction in rural Sindh Province. It focuses on the Government Main Primary School Khuda Bukhsh Soomro. The school is in Shahdadkot, a rural town in Sindh Province, Pakistan. In principle, education is considered a means to provide knowledge in terms of literacy, numeracy and civic awareness. I analyse whether, in addition to the formal knowledge taught in the school or produced in and through textbooks, the schooling enables improved gender relations or merely strengthens the existing gendered norms of society. I analyse how gender is constructed amongst the students through disciplinary gaze and practices and through their own agency in more informal ways. Previous scholarly contributions regarding this topic are scarce. The unique offering this thesis present is an in-depth understanding of the construction of gender at the micro level of rural Pakistani society. In this context, despite the idealism of the Pakistan Constitution and government policies, textbooks and teachers do little to promote critical thinking and there is barely any space for questioning the dominant patriarchal gendered knowledge system, thus ultimately strengthening the already established gendered stereotypes. Although individual expression and educational gender equality is encouraged at the national policy level, rural schools in Pakistan essentially leave untouched the foundational structures of gender. This results in children largely seeing their future in terms of traditional Pakistani values. The thesis questions why it has proved so difficult to inculcate principles of gender equality into rural society. Theoretically, this thesis adds to the postmodern literature specifically regarding the Foucauldian work on panopticism, gazes and disciplinary practices. The gaze is generally focused on vision; but the ethnographic evidence presented here suggests that it also includes an aural dimension. Furthermore, my findings suggest that individuals have particular degrees of agency to negotiate gender identity and to make their voices heard. The discontinuous gaze enables pockets of resistance among boys and girls and alternative perspectives that create a hope that despite the conservatism of rural Pakistani society, schooling can encourage new options for both female and male children in constructing more positive and equal gender relations.
dc.format.extent1 vol.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCanberra, ACT : The Australian National University
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.subjecteducation
dc.subjectgender
dc.subjectgaze
dc.subjectpanoptic
dc.subjecttextbooks
dc.subjectpolicy
dc.titleSchooling Gender in Rural Pakistan: An Ethnographic study of the Primary School and its Role in Gender Construction
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.institutionThe Australian National University
local.contributor.supervisorGuinness, Patrick
local.contributor.supervisorcontactPatrick.Guinness@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2016
local.description.notesauthor deposited 24/11/16
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2016
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationSchool of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University
local.description.embargo2026-11-24
local.request.emailrepository.admin@anu.edu.au
local.request.nameDigital Theses
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d51466bec0d6
dcterms.accessRightsRestricted access
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsRestricted Theses

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