Chaise LaDousa

Hindi Is Our Ground, English Is Our Sky

Education, Language, and Social Class in Contemporary India

Berghahn Books 2016

Books ReceivedBooks Received: Global EthicsBooks Received: Hindu StudiesBooks Received: SociologyBooks Received: South Asian StudiesNew Books Network September 19, 2016

A sea change has occurred in the Indian economy in the last three decades, spurring the desire to learn English. Most scholars and media...

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.

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