Current Institutional Affiliation
Adjunct Professor, Anthropology, University of Oregon

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2005
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Emory University
Senegalese "Making Do": Islamic Knowledge, National Schooling, and Opportunity in Dakar

In Senegal, global capitalism, urbanization, and economic instability have profoundly affected Islamic and secular schools and the experience of students who attend them. Faced with a disjuncture between their education and the demands of urban living, young men and women increasingly adopt lifestyles of managing and making do. Set in Dakar, this research will examine how Senegalese schools shape men and women's lives in the context of economic and social change via anthropological methods of participant-observation, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, life-histories, surveys, and archival and media research. I will utilize a nested-level methodology, gathering fine-grained ethnographic data from a Koranic boarding school, an Islamic day school and a public junior high school, as well as urban households and neighborhoods. This study will deepen our understanding of education as a site of contestation and change and refine models of the relationship between education, class reproduction, and identity. It will also make practical contributions, such that local actors can use the generated data to improve educational outcomes. I will be affiliated with the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar during the research period.