What is it about?

This article presents an ethnography of a contemporary residential seminary (madrasa) for teenage Muslim girls in a North Indian town. The two researchers combined a focus on what is taught at the seminary with what some seminary graduates recalled as formative experiences at the school after they had left and started new lives as teachers or wives and home makers. The result is a comprehensive picture of the seminary's transformative role in the lives of its students, and highlights the importance of connections between school and home.

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Why is it important?

Few such studies of girls' seminaries in South Asia exist, as it is a relatively new trend in South Asian Muslim communities.


This study gives a close up view from the ground up (or "thick description", in Clifford Geertz's phrase) of what it is like to study in a girls' madrasa in one particular school in South Asia. It includes the perspective of students and administrators.

Dr. Usha Sanyal
Wingate University

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This page is a summary of: Discipline and Nurture: Living in a girls’ madrasa, living in community, Modern Asian Studies, September 2018, Cambridge University Press,
DOI: 10.1017/s0026749x17000166.
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