Creating New Modernities: A Study of Attitude of Pakistani Youth

Sunday, 10 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 32 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Azeema VOGELER, COMSATS University Islamabad, Pakistan
Pakistan, with a population of 200 million inhabitants is the second largest Muslim country in the world with more than half of its population under the age of 25. Though still predominantly traditional and rural, the country is undergoing fast changes in terms of economics as well as culture and values. Modern technologies such as mobile phone and television access is pervasive while access to internet and 3G technologies are growing fast. Moreover, other forces of modernization, like rise in age at marriage, number of children getting education and rapid urbanization are also in place. These factors coupled with recent governmental policy of "enlightened moderation' have brought changes in values and culture of youth, pushing them towards creation of a modern identiy. But at the same time, while the youth grapples with a Muslim and Pakistani identity, they are also striving to sense of mdoernity which is inescapeable in this age of globalization, and reconcile the incompatibilities and inconsistancies the two shperes. While the forces of modernization present critical questions as how they should be embraced, there are another kind of "modernity" which used fundamental dictactes of religion and "traditions" as their source of inspiration.  Pakistan is going through enormous changes geared towards a becoming a modern and moderate society but at the same time there are various social forces resisting that. The youth is striving to create a new identity within the new realities. 

The present study proposes the study of attitudes and values Pakistani youth towards modernity, tradition and religion and how they make sense of these concepts. Focus group interviews will be conducted with 10 student groups currently studying in a large university in Islamabad. Analysis will be done on the basis of gender, location, socio economic status and ethnic group differentials.