Power, knowledge and pedagogy: an analysis of the educational exclusion of Dalits in Nepal

Poudel, L. (2007) Power, knowledge and pedagogy: an analysis of the educational exclusion of Dalits in Nepal. Ph.D. thesis, University of Kent.


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This thesis examines the educational exclusion of Dalits in Nepal. It analyses the extent to which the hierarchical caste system and educational policies and practices create exclusionary pressures upon Dalits. This analysis is based on the data obtained from literature and documents, autobiographical exploration and the ethnographic fieldwork conducted at Basipur village and Gauripur School in a Tarai District of Nepal.

This thesis is an attempt to listen to Dalit voices and experiences about educational exclusion as a part of the process of including the excluded. This representation of Dalit agency is richly contextualised within the changing political, cultural and socioeconomic context of Nepal. The thesis seeks to challenge and contest the pathological stereotypes of Dalits. It contributes to the literature concerned with understanding culturally specific issues of educational inclusion and exclusion in Nepal.

This thesis analyses how schooling in Nepal has reproduced structural inequality and discrimination. Such exclusionary practices have been exacerbated by ambivalent policy texts. Indeed, the increased support for private schooling has maintained Dalits’ exclusion from education and society. On the other hand, public schooling has also played a significant role in challenging the hierarchical caste structure and discriminatory discourses within society. Through developing a ‘schooled identity’, Dalit children build relationships with non-Dalit children. Such relationships have the potential to challenge and contest discriminatory ideologies for both Dalit and non-Dalit children.

This thesis suggests that developing inclusion involves a process of understanding and changing exclusionary and discriminatory power relations. This process of change involves a continuous political and social struggle.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0065 Social aspects of education > LC0189 Educational sociology > LC0212 Discrimination in education
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2013 12:17
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2016 16:26
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12118

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00