First NameSabina
Last NameShah
Emailsabina@hu.edu.pk
Supervisor NameProf. Dr. Gerhard Leitner
Universityder Freien Universität Berlin
CountryGermany
KeywordsConservative societies,Socio cultural Issues, conservative norms, fields of knowledge, higher education,
Publication Date4 March,2016
DegreePhD
DomainEnglish

Abstract

Conservative societies, such as that of Pakistan, tend to sideline women or lump them together with men. Yet women live in a different world in many ways. The conservative norms and trends in this society make the learning of English for women quite difficult, which can be understood from the fact that until recently, education for women was considered unnecessary – an attitude still found in many rural parts of the country, although some movement is visible. On the other hand in this modern era, learning English is of utmost importance as it leads the way to many fields of knowledge and higher education, especially those of science and technology. However, no research has investigated the social attitudes to female English literacy and its impact on traditional values in the Mansehra region. My original contribution to knowledge is examining modalities concerning women in Pakistan and the effect of its social system on their learning of English as a second language. Bourdieu (1979, 1984) and Sadiqi‘s (2003) models are used to identify various factors in the social context. Attitudes are assessed through the use of a mixed methods approach, including questionnaires as a quantitative technique, interviews and participatory observation as a qualitative technique. The results indicate that the urban class show relatively moderate attitudes overall, but are also confused due to their exposure towards traditional culture as well as modernization. In contrast, the thematic analysis reveals the rural class‘s bias against women learning English; some responses show flexibility towards the modification of traditional culture in relation to female English literacy. In addition, there are significant differences in the attitudes collected through questionnaires, interviews and participatory observation. These findings have important implications for language practitioners, educationists, second language learners and students. Following the recommendations would help to bring change in attitudes in the region.

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