Educating Egypt: Civic Values and Ideological Struggles

Educating Egypt: Civic Values and Ideological Struggles

AUC Press

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By Linda Herrera

From the 1952 revolution onward, a main purpose of formal education in Egypt was to socialize children and youth into adopting certain attitudes and behaviors conducive to the regimes in power. Control by the state over education was never entirely hegemonic. National education came increasingly under pressure due to a combination of the growing privatization of the education sector, the growth of political Islam, and rapidly changing digital technologies.

Educating Egypt traces the everyday practices, policy ideas, and ideological and political and economic contests over education from the era of nation-building in the twentieth century to the age of global change and digital disruption in the twenty-first. Its overarching theme is that schooling and education, broadly defined, have consistently mirrored larger debates about what constitutes the model citizen and the educated person. Drawing on three decades of ethnographic research inside Egyptian schools and among Egyptian youth, Linda Herrera asks what happens when education actors harbor fundamentally different ideas about the purpose, provision, and meaning of education. Her research shows that, far from serving as a unifying social force, education is in reality an ongoing battleground of interests.

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