Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Qazi, M.H., Shah, S. Discursive construction of Pakistan’s national identity through curriculum textbook discourses in a Pakistani school in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (2019) British Educational Research Journal, 45 (2), pp. 275-297.

DOI: 10.1002/berj.3496

This study investigates Pakistan’s secondary school children’s constructions of their national identity in a Pakistani school in Dubai by drawing on data collected from students and teachers from the case school and analysing national curriculum textbooks used in the school. Informed by Foucault’s concepts, the article problematises how the curriculum textbooks are employed as a technology of power for inculcating national consciousness in the students. The findings suggest that Pakistan’s national curriculum textbooks deploy a specific version of Islam as a major technology, which then influences other national identity signifiers in the textbooks for shaping students’ national identity. The school affords a crucial space for the complex interplay of these technologies, which construct students’ ethnocentric national identities, encouraging social polarisation. This has implications for Pakistan’s national social cohesion as well as the potential for subverting international peaceful coexistence and working relationships, particularly in the selected overseas study context. © 2018 British Educational Research Association

Author Keywords
curriculum and national identity construction; ethnocentric identities; Foucault’s technologies of power and self; Islam and gender

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