This book explores an important yet often overlooked aspect of nationalism its embodied and emotional dimensions it does so by focusing on a neglected area, that of elementary education in the modern state through an ethnographic study of primary schools in western india, benei examines the idioms through which teachers, students and parents make meaning of their political world she articulates how urban middle- and lower-class citizens negotiate the processes of self-making through the minutiae of daily life at school and extracurricular activities, ranging from school trips to competitions and parent gatherings to document how processes of identity formation are embodied, benei draws upon historical and cultural repertoires of emotionality and language-use her book shifts the normal focus of attention away from apocalyptic communal violence she looks instead at everyday or banal nationalism attentive to the formulation of senses of belonging, she explores the sensory production and daily manufacture of nationhood and citizenship, as well as how nationalism is nurtured in a nations youth historians, sociologists, students of politics and nationalism as well as educationists will be enriched by this careful and detailed study of the often ignored nuances involved in the making of communities such as hindus and muslims within the framework of the indian nation beneis compelling ethnography is much more than a book about schooling; its about schooling in the service of the nation, how schooling functions to create citizens and how nationalism is inculcated in our youth i have seldom read a more powerful, beautifully written book susan wadley a major contribution to the study of nationalism and to the burgeoning field of anthropology of emotions a rich ethnographic study of mundane educational practices based on a deep understanding of their historical context
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