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ERIC Number: EJ1002013
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1554-5210
Activating Citizenship--The Nation's Use of Education to Create Notions of Identity and Citizenship in South Asia
Ghosh, Shreya
International Journal of Progressive Education, v8 n3 p128-139 Oct 2012
Identity in south Asia was anchored by, on the one end, community, and on the other, an appreciation of sub-continental (geographical and cultural) space. People, historically, drew their identity as part of communities, which in turn existed in continuity to each-other in the seamless regional expanse of south Asia. Imagination as nationals--a post-colonial construct--faced contestations, both, from community affiliations and spatial imagination contrary to the territorial--modular form of nation-state. As a response, the state fabricated the idea of "patriotic-citizen" and used nationalist historiography to create citizens who are taught to believe the nation as prime-marker of self-definition and act like soldiers, guarding national identity against alternative imaginations. Education has become the most potent devise through which this is achieved. The article, on the basis of textbook narratives in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, would demonstrate (i) how educational practices build a militarist idea of citizenship and, (ii) in doing so co-opts the demands of community by showing the nation as vindication of community-aspirations and on the other hand erasing conceptualisation of a south Asian space from cognitive maps of its subjects. The idea of "active" citizenship understands "active" as responsible citizenship, emphasising a right based discourse. On the contrary education in south Asia is used to "activate" citizenship which is relational in content--based on ideas of "us" versus "them"--instead of allowing critical understanding of rights and identities.
International Association of Educators. Egitim Fakultesi Dekanligi, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Canakkale 17100, Turkey. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; Bangladesh; India; Pakistan