Education constitutes the main ingredient on both development discourses and practices in contemporary Nepal. It particularly applies to the situation of girls and women, through programs targeting the promotion of access to schooling in the rural areas of the country (Robinson-Pant 2000). This presentation explores the discursive construction of educational categories in Nepal, through the analysis of narratives of 10 Nepali women, from rural and urban spots. We identify common trends and singularities in the way they describe their lived realities, focusing on education and development.
Findings show narratives that are clearly intertwined, where education appears to be closely linked to development. Both are conceptualized as external and dichotomic, and women apparently situate themselves as passive recipients. Predominant narratives mainly refer to material issues, but some women’s views bring about political, personal or social issues and dimensions. Methodological challenges also arise concerning the limitations of approaches based on interviews when exploring narratives and the need to situate them within a wider ethnographic context.
This webinar shows how global and institutional discourses are assumed and internalized by the people, as outcomes of cognitive imperialism (Battiste 2005). However, it also reveals how women negotiate, re-signify and challenge such discourses from their particular local realities and experiences as active producers of meaningful cultural forms.
The UEA UNESCO Chair Webinar Series showcases ongoing PhD research exploring issues around Adult Literacy and Learning (ALL) for Social Change.