Schooling at the edge of the world: An ethnographic study of educational ambivalence within coastal habitus in northern Mozambique

Wojcik, PA (2014) Schooling at the edge of the world: An ethnographic study of educational ambivalence within coastal habitus in northern Mozambique. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Coastal fishing communities in northern Mozambique have distinctive history, politics and livelihoods that make them physically and socially peripheral. This is evident in relation to lack of the access and ownership of natural resources, social opportunities such as education, access to information and decision making means and the influence of cultural-hereditary characteristics of coastal society.
The thesis examines learning in Lunga, the key institutions, their roles and importance. Drawing on Mamdani’s concept of bifurcated state, it outlines the historical background of the formal education system that is a necessary frame for understanding many specific problems of education in contemporary Mozambique. In this setting, the thesis reflects on formal, traditional and Islamic education and their different forms of valorisation in the past and present.
The study examines the coastal habitus – the problems of life on the periphery, and the social, political and physical distance. From there, it probes deeper into the relations between competing institutions promoting certain distinctive aspects of coastal life, describing production of the local and the global (national). The main focus of the thesis is the characteristic, ambivalent and strained relations between the schooling and coastal habitus, being the manifestation of the tension between local and global spaces.
This thesis discusses these questions and related educational practices as culturally mediated responses to the collective uncertainty and marginalization. It describes the community's struggle over the relative value of schooling versus village-based knowledge and skill acquisition necessary for the community members to live within their structural constraints. Furthermore, it points towards questions of political power, suggesting that coastal society's ambivalence about the utility of schooling may be seen as one of the dilemmas of citizenship in contemporary Mozambique. It demonstrates that ambivalent meanings attached to schooling are shaped by their cultural history and their attempts to maintain their livelihoods in the context of political marginality.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Philosophy
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2014 11:49
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2014 11:49
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/49739
DOI:

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