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"Being" and "Becoming" a scholarship student at a Pakistani university: Problematizing neocolonialist practices in education development projects

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Abstract:

In this paper, I examine a scholarship program at a private Lahori university to contrast student and institutional narratives about the semiotic act of becoming a scholarship student. The study is an effort to understand the tensions of national education projects in Pakistan, where gifted students from rural and under-privileged backgrounds are rewarded academic merit scholarships to attend an English-medium bachelor’s program. Through discourse analytic methods, I employ Bakhtin’s dialogic approach to consider hybridized narrative voices in interviews and texts. Subsequently using Wortham’s narrative inquiry methods, I highlight what “voices” emerge and are (un)common among the sets of narratives.
This particular project is presented as a lens to understand international education development projects. By analyzing the alignments and disjunctures between the student and institutional narratives in reference to the scholarship program, I hope to draw out the tensions in the relationship between education in developing countries and forms of neocolonialism (Altbach, 1971). While traditional colonial domination may no exist, there are still a variety of practices in developing countries perceived as neocolonialist, that cannot be ascribed negative connotations or thought of as extensions of earlier colonialist practices. I argue that the presence of English-medium higher education institutions in Pakistan cannot be simply demonized as a neocolonial practice; nor can outreach, or scholarship, programs at universities be thought of as a redemptive project. I problematize such assumptions by critically analyzing student narratives that describe what it means to “be”/”become” a scholarship student when compared to the program’s “official” narratives.
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Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492963_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Durrani, Mariam. ""Being" and "Becoming" a scholarship student at a Pakistani university: Problematizing neocolonialist practices in education development projects" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492963_index.html>

APA Citation:

Durrani, M. ""Being" and "Becoming" a scholarship student at a Pakistani university: Problematizing neocolonialist practices in education development projects" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492963_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: In this paper, I examine a scholarship program at a private Lahori university to contrast student and institutional narratives about the semiotic act of becoming a scholarship student. The study is an effort to understand the tensions of national education projects in Pakistan, where gifted students from rural and under-privileged backgrounds are rewarded academic merit scholarships to attend an English-medium bachelor’s program. Through discourse analytic methods, I employ Bakhtin’s dialogic approach to consider hybridized narrative voices in interviews and texts. Subsequently using Wortham’s narrative inquiry methods, I highlight what “voices” emerge and are (un)common among the sets of narratives.
This particular project is presented as a lens to understand international education development projects. By analyzing the alignments and disjunctures between the student and institutional narratives in reference to the scholarship program, I hope to draw out the tensions in the relationship between education in developing countries and forms of neocolonialism (Altbach, 1971). While traditional colonial domination may no exist, there are still a variety of practices in developing countries perceived as neocolonialist, that cannot be ascribed negative connotations or thought of as extensions of earlier colonialist practices. I argue that the presence of English-medium higher education institutions in Pakistan cannot be simply demonized as a neocolonial practice; nor can outreach, or scholarship, programs at universities be thought of as a redemptive project. I problematize such assumptions by critically analyzing student narratives that describe what it means to “be”/”become” a scholarship student when compared to the program’s “official” narratives.


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