School and madrasah education: gender and the strategies of Muslim young men in rural north India

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Abstract

This paper explores the cultural and economic strategies of educated but un/under‐employed young Muslim men aged between 20 and 34 in a village in western Uttar Pradesh, north India. Drawing on Connell's gender theory, the paper demonstrates how economic and political forces shape Muslim young men's strategies. The paper distinguishes between ‘school‐educated’ men, some of whom had studied in madrasahs for long periods, and the ‘madrasah‐educated’. Concentrating on school‐educated men, we discuss their perceptions of education, and how these relate to their search for a respectable masculinity and what they regard as ‘good work’. We also show how uneducated Muslim young men with alternative visions of education criticise the strategies of their educated peers. We use this account of Muslim young men's practices to emphasise the value of a culturally sensitive political economy approach to the analysis of threatened masculinities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-593
Number of pages13
JournalCompare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • education
  • gender
  • India
  • masculinities
  • Muslims
  • Schooling

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