Regimes of truth and eudaimonia: an analysis of the effects of power relations and the relevance of school in the development of a capability set for first generation female students from a marginalised pastoralist community in northeastern uganda

Gallo, Jacqueline Carey (2018). 'Regimes of truth and Eudaimonia: An analysis of the effects of power relations and the relevance of school in the development of a capability set for first generation female students from a marginalised pastoralist community in Northeastern Uganda' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018.


Abstract


Name:  Jacqueline Gallo, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge


Conference:  Human Development and Capability Association Annual Conference 2018


Submission Date:  16 February 2018


Paper Title:  Regimes of truth and Eudaimonia: An analysis of the effects of power relations and the relevance of school in the development of a capability set for first generation female students from a marginalised pastoralist community in Northeastern Uganda


Keywords: Missionary/faith schools’ education, ethnography, girls, pastoralist education, missionary education, East Africa, pastoral care, Foucault, Capabilities Approach 


This paper discusses findings of a fifteen-month ethnography of one Catholic missionary-founded secondary girls’ boarding school in Karamoja, Uganda.  This doctoral study uses a Foucauldian theoretical overview and implements Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach as an analytical tool to understand what constitutes a ‘good education’ for first generation female students from pastoralist communities.  The analysis pays particular focus to students’ ability to cope with impending and unknown futures, negotiating obligations to their rural-based families/communities and pressure to migrate to urban centres to utilise their education and find paid employment.


 


This study aims to determine whether and to what extent student leavers are developing capabilities that will lead them to establish their own eudaimonia (flourishing) in the world.  Key questions include: 1)what competing narratives influence their goals and opportunities; 2)how do institutions involved in their education enhance or restrict students’ capability sets; and 3)what can schools offer in terms of religious, pastoral support and life skills education to equip girls to achieve to a ‘live a life worth living’?


 


I will present findings from a fifteen month ethnographic study questioning, ‘what constitutes a good education?’ for first generation female students from pastoralist communities.  Through a Foucauldian understanding of power as not as ‘a group of institutions and mechanisms that ensure the subservience of the citizens’ but as omnipresent and ‘…in every relation’ (1990, p.93) I will examine the discourse and ‘regimes of truth’ surrounding missionary education, international development and their effects on the marginalised students they seek to serve.  Understanding this notion of diffuse and embodied power, I will examine main tenets of the Black Consciousness Movement and Liberation Theology to explore how education might become more culturally relevant and improve their capability set to better transition out of secondary school.


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