California's Hindu Textbook Controversy: Redefining Hindu American Identity

Kelly, Leah (2016) California's Hindu Textbook Controversy: Redefining Hindu American Identity. [Mémoire]

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Item Type: Mémoire
Creators: Kelly, Leah
Directeur de recherche: Brulard-Carr, Ines
Divisions: UFR Langues, Littératures et Civilisations Etrangères > Département Etudes du Monde Anglophone (DEMA)
Diplôme: M1 Etudes anglophones
SCIENCES HUMAINES ET SOCIALES > Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie
SCIENCES HUMAINES ET SOCIALES > Histoire des religions
Uncontrolled Keywords: Analyse du discours, Identité américaine hindoue, Éducation, Manuels
Mots-clés dans une autre langue: Discourse analysis, Hindu American identity, Education, textbooks
Abstract: Identity is neither fixed in time nor can it reach a point of stability or stagnation. The definition of one’s identity is a constantly evolving process not independent from a greater complex social structure. This is the case for Californian Hindus in the Hindu Textbook Controversy in which Hindu advocacy organizations participated in the California textbook adoption process and partially attained their goal of modifying the text in accordance with their agendas. While they attempted to establish a particular image of Hindus and Hinduism in California education, the fate of their edits remained under the power of the State Board of Education. Furthermore, their edits, unrepresentative of all Hindus in California, created a backlash from the Hindu community across the U.S. The backlash demonstrates pluralism among Hindus in California. The representations of Hinduism and Ancient India in the history textbooks directly affect the way Hindus are viewed in California, and thus directly affects their identity as a collective minority. California’s multiculturalist policy, the foundation of California’s textbook adoption process, which includes public participation, aims to allow minorities to take part in the way they are represented in history textbooks. In the end, Hindu advocacy groups and their adversaries alike succeed in reshaping the image of Hindus and Hinduism, although within the constraints of the State Board of Education. Therefore, through analysis of textbook adoption and the textbooks themselves, we can see how California Hindu identity is shaped and reshaped, within the limitations imposed by a greater social structure. In the California Hindu Textbook Controversy this occurs through an exchange between the state of California (and its policies), Hindu advocacy organizations and those who have opposed the advocacy organizations.

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