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Hindi is Our Ground, English is Our Sky: Education, Language, and Social Class in Contemporary India

LaDousa, Chaise
Kumar, Krishna

978 1 78533 211 1
List price(s):
29.95 USD
18.50 GBP

Publication date:
29 April 2016

Short description: 

Demonstrates schools' division into Hindi and English in India allows for different visions of what it means to belong to the nation, and what is central peripheral. Signals how the language-medium division reverberates unequally and unevenly through the nation.

Full description: 

A sea change has occurred in the Indian economy in the last three decades, spurring the desire to learn English. Most scholars and media venues have focused on English exclusively for its ties to processes of globalization and the rise of new employment opportunities. The pursuit of class mobility, however, involves Hindi as much as English in the vast Hindi-Belt of northern India. Schools are institutions on which class mobility depends, and they are divided by Hindi and English in the rubric of medium, the primary language of pedagogy. This book demonstrates that the school division allows for different visions of what it means to belong to the nation and what is central and peripheral in the nation. It also shows how the language-medium division reverberates unevenly and unequally through the nation, and that schools illustrate the tensions brought on by economic liberalization and middle-class status.

Table of contents: 

List of Figures and Tables Foreword by Krishna Kumar Preface Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Transliteration Conventions Transcription Conventions Introduction Chapter 1. On Mother and Other Tongues: Language Ideology, Inequality, and Contradiction Chapter 2. Disparate Markets: The Uneven Resonance of Language-Medium Schooling in the Nation Chapter 3. Advertising in the Periphery: Modes of Communication and the Production of School Value Chapter 4. An Alter Voice: Questioning the Inevitability of the Language-Medium Divide Chapter 5. In and out of the Classroom: A Focus on English Conclusion References


Chaise LaDousa is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. His publications include House Signs and Collegiate Fun: Sex, Race, and Faith in a College Town (Indiana University Press, 2011) and articles in a number of peer-reviewed journals such as American Ethnologist, Journal of American Folklore, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Journal of Pragmatics, and Language in Society.




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