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Title: The discourses of wellbeing in Pakistan : voices of the pupils and teachers in secondary schools
Author: Khan, Sikandar
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 5353
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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Wellbeing is a popular term in education policy and practice in the Western world. In contrast the term is almost nonexistent in the policy documents in Pakistan but is nevertheless implicated in the process of learning. Equally, while the discourses that construct the conceptualisation of wellbeing in the Western world have been closely examined, the various definitions that the term may inhabit in Pakistan have not been explored. Accordingly, the focus for this study is to explore the understandings of wellbeing held by children and teachers in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Conceptually, the study approaches child wellbeing from a social justice perspective that is grounded in Martha Nussbaum's (2011) Capabilities Approach. Through individual and group interviews with teachers, and focus groups with children in four secondary schools in the province, the research reveals the four discourses that construct the conceptualisation of wellbeing in the provincial culture called the Pashtun culture: the discourse of economics; the discourse of education; the discourse of social order; and the discourse culture/religion. By using thematic discourse analysis as a tool, the study identifies the representations of wellbeing that are accepted as 'commonsense'. Three key findings of this study are: wellbeing appears in a range of familiar forms to any individual, (i.e. wellbeing is a protean construct); wellbeing in the Pashtun culture is bound up in the culturally/religiously appropriate ways of being and doing, and is largely communal in nature (i.e. wellbeing is an examined life); and the understanding of wellbeing is partially unique even when constructed by the shared script of the four discourses (i.e. wellbeing is partially discourse-free). Using Nussbaum's concept of human dignity as the prism, the thesis foregrounds the ways in which the four discourses could be revised through education policy and practice, offering valuable insights into potential reforms.
Supervisor: Spratt, Jennifer ; Paterson, Sandra Mary ; McArdle, Karen Sponsor: University of Aberdeen
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Well-being ; Education, Secondary ; Social justice