Research Project (to be discussed at the Winter Academy) by Malini Ghose.
Malini Ghose is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Goettingen as part of the Max Weber Foundation Transnational Research Group “Poverty and Education in Modern India”. Before joining the TRG, she had been advocating issues of education, gender and equity in India for two decades.
This research seeks to examine the creation of narratives and discourses around educational policies in India from the mid-80s and subjects of policies, primarily women and girls from marginalised communities. Briefly, the objectives of the research are to examine the historical, political, and lived dynamics that shape-and complicate- the categorical imperatives and assumptions of policy-making, and to embed policy debates and practices in ethnographic, micro-political and historical life histories, thereby providing meaning to the `big picture data’ that is regularly generated by the Indian state. The research will also interrogate the binaries – for example included/excluded, powerful/powerless, structure/agency – through which policies and lives are typically examined. Some of the questions it asks are: In the context of education, how is ‘exclusion’ actually lived and experienced and what does this tell us about how it might be undone? In what ways has education enabled new opportunities and subjectivities to evolve? How do ‘target populations’ as both subjects and objects of policies fashion discourses, policies and programmes in their own ways, by bringing with them their own expectations, understandings and politics? What informs their aspirations and strategic choices related to education?