Making a Better Life: The Stories of People from Poor Rural Backgrounds in Sindh, Pakistan

Shahriar, Ambreen. 2013. Making a Better Life: The Stories of People from Poor Rural Backgrounds in Sindh, Pakistan. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This study analyses the stories of young people, both male and female, from rural and economically weak backgrounds. Participants in the present study come from the province of Sindh, Pakistan, and Sindhi is their first language. The data consist of the narratives of their lives. They deal with their attitudes and behaviours, actions and struggles, hurdles and hardships, expectations and desires. The participants talked about their family, home, village, surroundings, socio-economic problems, etc. My participants struggled to make ends meet economically and worked hard to improve their social position and that of their families. This study tries to interpret the observations of the interviews in terms of the theories and categories of Pierre Bourdieu (cultural, social, and symbolic capital; habitus, field, symbolic violence, practice, etc) and treats them as evidence of these theories. Symbolic Interactionism was used to interpret small-world lives of one-to-one interaction of individuals with individuals and artefacts and their roles. Narrative Analysis was applied to stories taken from two interviews.

I investigated how young people from poor rural backgrounds progressed towards a better standard of living. The socio-economic position of my participants in the social structures of their native villages hindered or facilitated their progress towards their goals. By interacting with people and artefacts in their environment, my participants managed to improve their standing in wider society. By getting an education, they found a way to cope with their day-to-day problems. But they were hindered in these attempts by the restrictions inherent in the existing social structures. This study found that my participants had to overcome obstacles which were so great that many other people from the same background never succeeded in doing so. This study is an attempt to look at their lives and the world at large through their eyes.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies



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Date Deposited:

06 Nov 2013 10:03

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 08:45


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