Textbooks, gender, and conflict in South Asia: building the nation

Ann Emerson, Thursica Kovinthan Levi

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This chapter explores the intersection of nation building, curriculum, and its dissemination through textbooks and gender in South Asia. It focuses on the government textbooks in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, two South Asian countries that have faced identity-based conflict and violence. In processes of nation building, women and men’s roles become entrenched in traditional gender roles – men are associated with the protection of the physical boundaries of the state, while women, positioned in traditional roles as mothers and nurturers, are expected to protect the moral and cultural integrity of the state. Curriculum is a part of the reproduction of these gender divisions, which in the cases of Pakistan and Sri Lanka have contributed to violence. This chapter will give an overview of the relationship of gender and nation building, and the way this is integrated into curriculum in South Asian countries. It will then focus on the cases of Pakistan and Sri Lanka to demonstrate the connection between nation building, curriculum, gender, and conflict.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of Education Systems in South Asia
    EditorsPadma M. Sarangapani, Rekha Pappu
    Number of pages28
    ISBN (Electronic)978-981-13-3309-5
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020

    Publication series

    NameGlobal Education Systems
    ISSN (Print)2570-2262
    ISSN (Electronic)2570-2270


    • Pakistan
    • Sri Lanka
    • South Asia
    • textbooks
    • gender
    • national building
    • conflict


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