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Title: Muslims and the state education system, England, c.1965-1997
Author: Carr, Helen F. W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 4580
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis considers Muslim-state relations over education in the mid-to-late twentieth century. It examines the period from the mid-1960s - the point when Muslim children first arrived in English schools in significant numbers - until the fall of the Conservative government in 1997. Existing accounts of the history of England's Muslims generally agree that education was a crucial area of early interaction between Muslims and the state. They also tend to situate the experiences of Muslims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s in the context of Britain's developing racial diversity, arguing that the religious identity of Muslims was not acknowledged until the end of the 1980s. The consequent responses of the state to Muslim educational needs have been characterised as ad hoc and disorganised, with the possibility of successful relations undermined by the racial and secular focus of multiculturalism, and a disorganised and disinterested Muslim "community". This thesis challenges key aspects of this narrative. It offers a new chronology and interpretation which take into account the role and significance of the long history of conservative pluralism in the responses of the British state to diversity, arguing that this can help to explain why some Muslim educational needs were being accommodated from the 1960s onwards. It then demonstrates that the dismantling of the educational framework which underpinned the pluralist approach by the Conservative government of the 1980s adversely affected the ability of Muslims to interact with the state. It argues that the shifting education philosophies of the 1980s, developing conceptions of Britain as a country that was both secular and Judaeo-Christian, and the emergence of Islamophobic attitudes exacerbated the difficulties brought about by the attack on the pluralist framework. It concludes that the effect of this was that the possibilities of a fruitful Muslim-state relationship over education decreased rather than increased towards the end of the twentieth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available