Pakistan Research Repository

A STUDY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING AS AN ELEMENT AFFECTING THE SOCIAL CAPITAL OF THE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN

Ashraf, Hina (2007) A STUDY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING AS AN ELEMENT AFFECTING THE SOCIAL CAPITAL OF THE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN. PhD thesis, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.

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Abstract

This research has been a means to look into Pakistani society and to explore how social capital is being generated through schools. The main inspiration for this work was French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu's research on language and the creation of social capital. Bourdieu (1992) has used the term habitus to describe certain dispositions which incline individuals to act in certain ways - ways that are explicitly articulated in language. He has also used it as a tool to identify the social 'space of individuals in which a piece of language occurs and embraces the whole activity of the speaker or participant in a setting' (1971). This research aimed to find out how social capital is structured and how is it being affected through education in Pakistani society; to explore how parental perception of social capital coincides with the conceptualization of social capital; and to investigate how the language of education in schools is seen as influencing the formation of social capital. The correlation between social capital, education and the language of schooling was investigated through a detailed library research. The theoretical analysis was then transferred to a questionnaire which was administered on parents of secondary school children to find out their perceptions about the medium of education they chose for their children. The research was carried out in Karachi. The questionnaire was administered to parents of children in the final two years of secondary education, aged 14-16 years. Twelve students were selected at random from each single-sex and 24 (12 girls and 12 boys) from each co-ed school. Half the students were asked to have the questionnaire filled in at home by their mother and half by their father. There was a 100% response rate though of course the use of pupils as intermediaries is open to challenge. The questionnaire was translated into Urdu for the convenience of parents. The scale helped to validate the three main dimensions of social capital (structural, relational and cognitive) and to identify which dimension was being affected through schooling more. The following conclusions were drawn from the data collected: 1. Social capital created in schools affects about 10% of the habitus of individuals. 2. Secondary schools in Pakistan are perceived by parents as a means to build structural and relational social capital more than cognitive social capital. 3. Though Urdu is the national language, there are no Urdu medium schools in the metropolitan city of Karachi in the high-cost profit category. 4. Language of instruction has a stronger effect on social capital than the gender of schooling. The medium of education significantly influences the social capital of individuals in Pakistan.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:english language learning, social capital, habitus, education, schooling, knowledge management
Subjects:Arts & Humanities (b) > Languages and Literature (b5)
ID Code:2616
Deposited By:Mr. Javed Memon
Deposited On:13 Jul 2009 20:36
Last Modified:08 Oct 2009 09:52

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