This book examines how interest groups in Turkey, including religious nationalists, neoliberal industrialists, and the military, promote and develop their particular worldviews through education and in school curricula. The aim is to explain how these competing groups define schoolchildren's educational experiences and how mass schooling creates the contexts in which children make sense of knowledge, power, and social change. The Pedagogical State offers an ethnographic case study that draws out the cultural and political processes by which education is reconfigured around the interests and understandings of different sectors in contemporary Turkish society. Using a wide array of sources, the author shows how a school system articulates a moral order at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and class. Exploring how this articulation plays itself out in a Turkish village provides a nuanced approach to the interplay of religious heritage, secularity, economic globalization, militarism, and identity politics in society at large.
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“This book will inform both scholarship and public policy debates about the role—or lack thereof—of schooling in generating contemporary political conflicts. Kaplan's thorough and skillful research demonstrates the pointlessness of secular/religious dichotomies, particularly in cases where such dichotomies have traditionally been a primary reference point.”—Gregory Starrett, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
“Sam Kaplan's account of the pedagogical project of the modern Turkish state is a wonderfully revealing example of the competition among different interest groups over the education of children. This is a thought-provoking book in the best sense.”—Ayhan Aktar, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey
Sam Kaplan is Lecturer in Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
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