Reproducing Education through Generation:the Syrian Christians and Their Social Elitism in the State Kerala in India.

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Anupama AR, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
This paper will examines, the strategies to maintain and reproduce educational aspirations and advantage among the Syrian Christians in Kerala. The paper specifically looks at the intergenerational practices among the families which make education central to the community's advancement. The paper draws with the Bourdieuxian perspective which highlights the differential nature that exists in the reproduction process at the family level.

The historical account of the past and present day social, economic, political dominance of Syrian Christians in the Kerala suggests that the basic factor behind the success of Syrian Christians in reaching the top/elite positions in the socio-economic ladder was their achievements in the field of education. This dominance persists even today. The discussion presented so far establishes the centrality of education among the Syrian Christian community in the contemporary Kerala and it is thus important to investigate deeper into the sociological determinants of such reproduction process. In Kerala society by and large has higher levels of literacy among all its religious communities, Christians seems to have much better literacy rates in comparison to other communities. The theory of Bourdieu draws how the children of the dominant class will progressively benefit from a positive interplay between the influences of home, community and school. Following Bourdieuxian framework, Stephen Ball notes that the class is realised and struggled over in the daily lives of families and institutions, in consumption decisions, as much as in the processes of production, and particularly at the moments of crisis and contradiction as parents think about the well being and happiness and futures of their off-springs. This paper on the contrary attempts to find out the correlation between family and educational reproduction to maintain their social elitism among the Syrian Christians.