Hindu students in a further education college : an ethographic enquiry
This is an ethnographic study of a sample of Hindu students in a Further Education college. The students are all following a course leading to the Certificate of Pre- Vocational Education. The data consists of transcripts of informal interviews and of classroom teaching situations; and is analysed from the perspective of an interpretive paradigm. The purpose of the study is to reveal the methods used by the students in reaching an understanding of their own social world. The study seeks to construct a series of world views which reflect the ways in which the students perceive their own sense of reality. The research attempts to explore the views of students on several areas including religion and culture, their feelings about the education system, and their aspirations for employment and a career. Generally speaking, research studies in the sociology of education tend to focus on the schools sector, and it is the intention of this research to redress the balance somewhat in the direction of Further Education. Moreover, studies in multicultural education often describe their samples in non-specific ways such as "Asian students" or "ethnic minorities", and place little emphasis upon the social influences of specific religion and culture. By investigating a particular religious group it is hoped to encourage more studies which place an emphasis upon the importance of religion in defining the social life of Asian people. The study of this sample of Hindu students suggests that there exists a specifically Hindu perception of the world, and that the maintenance of this is of importance to the students. The students appeared to have a profound desire to succeed in the educational system, and to apply that success to particular vocational contexts. An apparently strong motivation to achieve something of value in life was sustained in part by a sense of parental support and interest. The students did not appear to be preoccupied with the racism which they encountered in society. It was also noted that the female students tended to reject firmly the traditional Hindu gender roles. Generally there was a tendency for these young people to develop considerably greater proficiency in spoken rather than written English. The thesis concludes with a reflexive account which seeks to describe the particular perspectives and approaches of the author in arriving at an understanding of the data.