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Reproduction of urban classes in Bangladesh in the context of globalizationSiddiqur Rahman
In this research project, I explored how the present processes of globalization affected the class structure in Bangladeshi urban societies. By specific references to Bourdieu's idea of cultural capital, I tried to explore how cultural capital was changing in urban Bangladesh and how it related to the production and reproduction of urban social classes. The context of globalization significantly alters the class structure and the individual's access to economic, social and cultural capital in urban Bangladesh. By looking at two student groups, I showed the role of education, especially higher education, in the reproduction of urban social classes. In this project, I have investigated two student groups from two elite universities in Bangladesh, one public and another private. I have done a comparison between two groups of students in an aim to see how social reproduction occurs in school practice. Inspired by Bourdieu's approach to cultural reproduction, I intend to show that analysis of social class needs to go beyond the simple economic. In Bangladesh, formal education is a strong form of individual cultural capital and a means of individual upward social mobility; it is entangled with an individual's prior economic, social and cultural capital. I looked at students' previous school backgrounds as well as their social origins with the aim of exploring how that affects their social, cultural and economic capital as well as their habitus formation. I also looked at students' experiences in the two universities and tried to show how the two universities prepare their students for future success. I argued that globalization as a force creates inequality in access to social, economic and cultural capital and thus reproduces the social structure. The existing inequality based on social class has been amplified by the ideology of global integration. Universities in Bangladesh participate in this process. Rather than questioning this inequality, universities have become a part of this process. Thus, university, a seemingly apolitical cultural institution has become a part of a political apparatus that benefits some over others.
Social sciences; Education; Bangladesh; Globalization; Higher education; Inequality; Reproduction; Social class; Urban society; Cultural anthropology; Social studies education; 0745:Higher education; 0534:Social studies education; 0326:Cultural anthropology
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