Constructing an imagined path to peace during conflict: a critical discourse analysis of human rights education in Gaza, Palestine

Albhaisi, N. (2017) Constructing an imagined path to peace during conflict: a critical discourse analysis of human rights education in Gaza, Palestine. Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Human Rights Education (HRE) for Palestinian refugees in Gaza Strip is integrated in a context where history, culture and collective memory are priorities in the local discourses of right-hood and justice. Palestinian learners are citizens of a non-recognized imagined community, existing through the processes of collective remembering, and the local discourses on rights.

This study examines UNRWA’s special HRE curriculum for Palestinian refugees in Gaza Strip. I analyse UNRWA’s HRE policy and a sample of secondary level textbooks. This results in forming my original contribution to the field of human rights and HRE in a context of conflict. That is giving voice to a “collective” counter-hegemonic response to UNRWA’s model of HRE, which marginalizes the local discourse of right-hood. Collective, not in the sense of generalization, but in recognition of Palestinians’ legal and political status, which is a major obstacle for human rights and HRE in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

For this, I use qualitative document analysis and a dialectical-relational approach to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to examine the materials in relation to the wider geo-political and socio-cultural context. The research outcomes reveal that UNRWA promotes a discourse of Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance (HRCRT) through a model of HRE which promotes a standardized culture of human rights. The study suggests that, at the level of conflict resolution, UNRWA’s discourse of HRCRT overlooks vital political and legal issues that hinder HRE in Gaza Strip. The curriculum is highly de-politicized and knowledge-based that it prescribes a de-contextualized curriculum, which represents the world as it “ought to be” rather than what “it is”. Therefore, the study argues that the way forward for HRE resides in directly addressing the complex components of the conflict and acknowledging the importance of the local discourses and collective memory for HRE for Palestinians

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Faculty of Education > School of Teacher Education and Development
Depositing User: Miss Rosemary Cox
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 12:03
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2018 09:15

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