ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Meenakshi ThapanSubscribe to Meenakshi Thapan

Learning the Art of Being a Woman

Education, Poverty and Gender: Schooling Muslim Girls in India by Latika Gupta, New Delhi: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2015 (South Asia edition), 2016; pp xix + 165, 895.

DSchool and MDC

Growing up in the Delhi School of Economics in the 1970s and 1980s is deeply enriched in my senses, emotions and mindscape. It was a heady time, with some fantastic teachers, some crazy ones, and brilliant peers.

Women's Mobility and Migration

Muslim women have remained invisible in the larger discourse on migration. This paper shows how Muslim women who have migrated to Jamia Nagar in Delhi are leading a more fulfilling life in their new locality, as is evident from the fact that they claim to have migrated for social security, well-being, better opportunities and higher education. Many of them are fleeing from small-town prejudices and overbearing families. However, it is also true that while Muslim women, belonging to different socio-economic backgrounds seek mobility, this is often achieved within the rubric of familial and community strategies of both migration and of living together as members of the same community in a territorial space marked out as their own. This has certain implications that both facilitate as well as impede their need for employment, safety and autonomy. Legal and policy frameworks must pay more attention to women migrants to create a gender sensitive migration policy.

Imagined and Social Landscapes

Aspirations and the desire for upward mobility compel migrants to view Europe through an imagined perspective of hope and anticipation. Lived experience, on the other hand, foregrounds the experience of racism, exclusion and difference. This paper seeks to understand the typical immigrant's desire to migrate out of India and the experience of migration in a region of northern Italy. It attempts to do so by understanding the aspirations of potential immigrants in terms of what Europe signifies and the lived experience of immigrants of Indian origin in northern Italy. The analysis is based on interviews with potential migrants in New Delhi and in the region of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, more specifically in Fidenza and Parma.

Imagining Citizenship: Being Muslim, Becoming Citizens in Ahmedabad

Against the background of the experience of extreme and brutal violence against the Muslim community in 2002, and the rapid process of ghettoisation along religious divides in Ahmedabad, this study, based on the fieldwork in selected schools in the Muslim-dominated areas, focuses on understanding how secondary schools run by Muslim trusts seek to recover and establish identities of being Muslim through their pursuit of citizenship ideals.

Youth Cultures and the Making of Citizens

An examination of the lived experience of young people in secondary schools in two very diverse cultural settings - France and India - and how they negotiate their way through textbooks, and interact with peers and the larger society in the making of their identities as citizens in a changing world.

'Docile' Bodies, 'Good' Citizens or 'Agential' Subjects?

Pedagogy has a crucial role in constructions of the self and the "good" or the "ideal" citizen. Civic education in schools seeks to build up notions of the good citizen, by outlining "ideal" norms of behaviour, for instance, towards parents, elders, the government, as also the nation. But the human subject is not always a passive recipient of pedagogic formulations. Rather as this article that bases itself on student responses in a test school in Delhi, establishes, students negotiate established pedagogy and received wisdom in a variety of ways. Their understanding of issues of citizenship is arrived at not merely through textbook instruction, but their reception to the very manner of this instruction that is exam-oriented, in their interactions with friends, peers and family as well as information received and interpreted through a variety of other sources. The article argues that to move beyond mere subjecthood and towards ensuring an individual's "agency" in the creation of "good" citizenship, pedagogy has to engage and debate widely with these varied sites of interaction.

A Teacher Writes

The teacher-student relationship forms a critical bedrock in the pursuit of academic excellence. Sometimes, and perhaps giving in to the rhetoric of student welfare, teachers may evince the need to "protect" or "help" students; a fact that may unwittingly dilute the cause of academic excellence.

Ethnographies of the State

Current sociological and social anthropological thinking now views the state as an object of ethnographic exploration. But can the state, a "macro subject", be explored by methods similar to that employed for the study of small-scale and bounded communities? A workshop in Delhi debated on the nature of the state as an entity that exists in and is also constantly created by society. It looked at aspects of representation and categories, through which the state seeks to define society and in turn, the latter's response to such bounded characterisation.

Pedagogy and the Future Citizen

A primary institution through which values and norms are simultaneously constituted and reproduced in society is the school. While conceptual categories such as the educational code, pedagogic work, pedagogic authority and so on have been examined as essential components of schooling practices that further relations of power and social control, it is contended here that the pedagogic encounter that does not exclusively take place in the location and context of the school is critical to this process.

Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002)

Pierre Bourdieu's absence will be felt in the sociology of the future and especially in the sociology of education, a discipline that he sought to establish at the centre of mainstream sociology. He repeatedly drew attention to the fact that without an adequate understanding of the processes within educational practice that shape habitus and perpetuate symbolic violence under an appearance of neutrality, we cannot fully establish a sociology of power that focuses on the dynamic of class relations.


Back to Top