Brown Bag Lunchtime Seminar: Pier Luc Dupont Picard "Conceptions of justice in UK political discourses on Muslims and education"
Pier Luc Dupont Picard will discuss "The scale, the map and the battlefield: Conceptions of justice in UK political discourses on Muslims and education"
This presentation will address the politicisation of Muslim education through various dimensions and scales of justice by a range of UK stakeholders (Muslim and non-Muslim civil society organisations, activists, school administrators, state agencies, politicians, think tanks and teachers). More specifically, it will explore how disagreements on the adequacy of current education policies are linked to the uneven emphasis placed on redistribution, recognition, representation and other dimensions of justice, all of which can be upheld or undermined by social relations taking place at the family, local, national and other scales. The presentation builds on qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis conducted on 48 documents written between 2007 and 2018 as well as four semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that Muslim education is most frequently interpreted through the lens of recognition. This is particularly evident in the discursive frames of ‘social cohesion’, foregrounding inter-group respect, and ‘values’, insisting on the centrality of anti-discrimination in the British ethos. The frame of ‘culture’ is dominated by aesthetic considerations which revolve around the subjective aspirations of Muslim families and may be characterised as concerns of social reproduction. Across all frames, the perceived scale of social processes generating injustice is blurry and contested. Sex-specific policies frequently constitute a flashpoint of conflict between various dimensions and scales of justice, situating female Muslim students at the centre of an ideological battlefield where the advocates of sexual, national and religious recognition/reproduction seek to assert moral authority.