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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54682
Doc. No:TL24636
Call number:‭3373560‬
Main Entry:Roozbeh Shirazi
Title & Author:Molding the knights of change: National identity, schooling, and masculinity in two Jordanian high schools for boysRoozbeh Shirazi
College:Columbia University
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:262-n/a
Abstract:In Jordan, top-down calls for education reform increasingly intersect with national and transnational discourses and debates on enhancing economic growth, national unity, gender equality, and civic participation in Jordan and the broader Middle East. Such initiatives have increasingly identified schooling as the pathway by which youth may become empowered and serve Jordan as "Knights of Change." Simultaneously, Jordan has been receiving increased amounts of international aid and attention amid broader calls for greater social, economic, and political reform in the Middle East region. Along with promising other benefits, schooling represents a viable alternative to a presumed "trap of radicalization" Arab and Muslim youth face. This dissertation employs a case study approach utilizing primarily ethnographic methods of data collection to examine the intersection of these narratives of education with daily practices of schooling and the individual narratives of the male students and teachers at two government secondary schools for boys in Amman, Jordan. Research findings are based upon a discourse analysis of secondary sources as well as analysis of primary data collected during nine months of qualitative data collection at the two schools in 2007 and 2008. The primary data consist of daily school observations, semi-structured interviews, and informal interviews and conversations with students, teachers, and school administrators. The findings of this study contribute to understandings of how "global" norms of modernity may be used to uphold and introduce hierarchies of power, and how such norms are localized and contested in the context of schooling. By critically analyzing transnational and state narratives of education in Jordan, this dissertation problematizes enduring epistemological structures that inform dominant accounts of education, youth and development in the Middle East. Drawing upon critical theory and postcolonial studies to analyze state and transnational narratives of education, this study illustrates how development efforts informed by such representations remain captive to an Orientalist paradigm that posits technological, political, and cultural deficits vis-à-vis the "West." In casting "culture" and religion (most notably, Islam) as an impediment towards economic development and sociopolitical reform, these narratives overlook the gaze of state surveillance, disciplinary practices, and enduring socioeconomic and political forces that structure opportunity, regulate masculinity, and delimit national membership in Jordan amid highly publicized calls to expand reform and empower the youth. The ground-up focus of this research offers important insights into how these educational policies play out in practice. By focusing on the daily practices of schooling and narratives of male secondary students and their teachers, this thesis foregrounds the place of education in the voices, performances, and experiences of male youth, which have been largely absent in these policy debates and educational research in Jordan as well as the broader Middle East region. In doing so, the data of this study illustrate how the officially sanctioned contours of Jordanian nationality, gendered identity, and individual economic opportunity are introduced, upheld, and contested in these schools in daily rituals, classroom conversations, and disciplinary practices. Such perspectives are critical to understanding everyday operations of power as well as the political work that schools do and opportunities they provide, specifically in serving as sites of identity formation and everyday politics beyond officially sanctioned avenues of participation.
Subject:Social sciences; Education; Jordan; International education development; Comparative education; Masculinity; Middle East studies; Identity formation; High schools; Boys; Educational sociology; Secondary education; Curriculum development; Gender studies; National identity; Schools; Secondary schools; 0340:Educational sociology; 0733:Gender studies; 0727:Curriculum development; 0533:Secondary education
Added Entry:O. Garcia
Added Entry:Columbia University