Books as Means of Social Control

Topics: Islam, Pakistan, History of Pakistan Pages: 7 (2317 words) Published: March 4, 2012


The means by which individuals are induced or compelled to conform to the usages and life values of the group are so numerous and varied that a classification is not possible. Though Informal control is the most effective type of social control, its effectiveness is somewhat lessened in large communities. In modern times the informal methods have given place to formal ones such as laws, education, coercion and codes. Education is the most effective means of control and the family is the most significant agency.

Pakistan is a multilingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. But the Pakistani education system has always maintained the particular ideology which indicates that Pakistan is an Islamic state rather than a country with a majority Muslim population. This ideology has been reflected in the contents of government school textbooks and successive Pakistani governments have used this formal education system as a tool to social control to transmit and legitimize its political intentions (Mesti).

The research was carried out through both Primary and Secondary research methods. The Primary research was conducted by distributing a set of Questionnaires to two groups of research participants. The research participants (samples) were LUMS students. One research group comprised of students who haven’t yet taken the Pak. Studies course in LUMS and the other comprised of those students who have taken the course. The Questionnaires were based on MCQ type questions. The Secondary research was carried out with the help of resources mainly from the internet and included scholarly articles, research papers, and newspaper articles etc. The secondary research was carried out to support the topic and to obtain relevant information. PRIMARY RESEARCH

The questions asked in the Questionnaires were regarding the history of Pakistan as taught to us through text-books. The answers by both the groups differed significantly. By analyzing the answers of both the groups, we found that those who have taken the Pak. Studies course in LUMS are of the view that the material that we are taught in text-books in schools and colleges is highly misleading and controlled. On the other hand, the other group was completely unaware of the reality and believed that which was taught in the schools and colleges as truth. The answers of both the groups showed how significantly the people of Pakistan (especially students) are controlled through the text-books. The findings are further analyzed in last section of the research paper and the questionnaires have also been provided with the research paper for reference. The phenomenon of social control through text-books was introduced in early 1980’s in Pakistan. General Zia-ul-haq in order to legitimize his military coup and to socially control the people opted for the manipulation of the textbooks and so-called Islamization of the society by attempting to redesign all the textbooks of pre-university levels to include “distorted narration of history, factual inaccuracies, inclusion of hate material, a disproportionate inclusion of Islamic studies in other disciplines, glorification of war and the military, gender bias” (Mesti). Ministry of Education, the Curriculum Wing, the Textbook Boards and their collaborative writers, are largely from elites, who form a powerful group in Pakistani society. They empower themselves and their intentions through the manipulation of their social status and through the power of access to write textbooks the way they want. In this case manipulation is one of the discursive social practices of dominant groups geared towards the maintenance and extension of their power through providing information aimed at influencing the knowledge and the beliefs of the recipients. Put clearly, social control is...
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