Deconstructing Militarism in Pakistani Textbooks

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society

This article examines the textual constitution of militarism and militaristic subjects in and by educational discourse in Pakistan. The article focuses on two subjects, namely social studies and Urdu, which are taught in the public school system of Pakistan. In order to examine the constitution of militaristic subjectivities, the author draws upon concepts of poststructuralist theory and critical discourse analysis. The author's main argument is that it is vital to first deconstruct the constructs of war from the minds of people in order for the constructs of peace to be instilled. There are many sites where such deconstruction needs to begin. One of the likely places for such an exercise is in textbooks, for these are sites in which war and violence are or can be constructed and instilled into the minds of future citizens. These are also natural sites for the construction of defenses of peace, for these spaces harbor agency to resist war and violence. This article examines textual and discursive data from Pakistan's educational discourse (mainly curricula and textbooks) to illustrate how war and militarism are constructed by these discourses via curricula and textbooks.