Making and shaping the first Nishkam Nursery: a linguistic ethnographic study of a British Sikh project for childhood

Sagoo, Gopinder Kaur (2016). Making and shaping the first Nishkam Nursery: a linguistic ethnographic study of a British Sikh project for childhood. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis presents a study of the processes involved in creating the first Nishkam Nursery in 2009 in Handsworth, Birmingham. Led by British Sikhs, the project was embedded in wider work undertaken by the transnational ‘Nishkam’ community of practice. The research aim was to examine: 1) the blend of ideas and values guiding the nursery’s creation; 2) the ways in which the nursery world was configured in and through day-to-day communicative and semiotic practice; and 3) parental responses. I took a linguistic ethnographic approach to data collection and analysis and adopted a case study design.
Three orienting theories guided the study: 1) ‘the cultural production of the educated person’ (Levinson, Foley and Holland 1996); 2) ‘policy as/in practice’ (Sutton and Levinson 2001) and; 3) ‘figured worlds’ (Holland et al. 1998). An ethnographic approach was best suited to this theoretical framing. It allowed me to examine the interplay of agency and structure in the creation of the world of this local nursery, in ‘postsecular’ societal conditions characterised by complex diversities and mobilities. It also allowed me to capture the ways in which national policy frameworks were interpreted by local social actors and blended with educational approaches stemming from the Sikh dharam.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education


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