Learning in Morocco

Learning in Morocco

Language Politics and the Abandoned Educational Dream
Charis Boutieri
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 04/18/2016
Format: Hardback 10 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-02051-2
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Learning in Morocco offers a rare look inside public education in the Middle East. While policymakers see a crisis in education based on demographics and financing, Moroccan high school students point to the effects of a highly politicized Arabization policy that has never been implemented coherently. In recent years, national policies to promote the use of Arabic have come into conflict with the demands of a neoliberal job market in which competence in French is still a prerequisite for advancement. Based on long-term research inside and outside classrooms, Charis Boutieri describes how students and teachers work within, or try to circumvent, the system, whose contradictory demands ultimately lead to disengagement and, on occasion, to students taking to the streets in protest.

Author Bio

Charis Boutieri is Lecturer in the Social Anthropology of the Middle East at King’s College London.


“[A] valuable resource for other scholars and a significant book for students trying to understand political and social alienation, as well as the trajectory of development, in the region.”
 — Shana Cohen, Woolf Institute

“This book is aimed at anthropologists and other scholars of education and its role in development. It will be of interest to scholars of Morocco and the Middle East/North Africa region, particularly those interested in youth culture and in growing concerns in the region about the diminishing opportunities for young people in changing regional economies. Learning in Morocco joins a number of important recent works examining these issues in the region.”
 — H-France

“This sophisticated book provides an elegant and useful analysis of the situation of teaching and learning in Moroccan schools. The book explores the numerous strategies used by students to surmount difficulties and to increase their chances of success. It reveals the remarkable influence of linguistic conflicts and the role they play in students' integration, participation, and achievement. ”
 — American Anthropologist

Learning in Morocco should be an important reference for students, researchers, and teachers working on education in the postcolonial world.”
 — Anthropology and Education Quarterly

“Charis Boutieri’s study of language politics in Morocco . . . constitutes the latest in a long line of insightful anthropological studies of North African societies and cultures, and another fine addition to Indiana University Press’s ‘Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa’ series.”
 — Middle Eastern Studies

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Table of Contents

Writing about Language: Terminology and Transliteration

1. Schools in Crisis

Part I
2. Study Antigone to become a Scientist!
3. Paradox and Passion in the Tower of Babel

Part II
4. Inheritance, Heritage, and the Disinherited
5. Once Upon a Time, There Was a Happy Old Berber Couple

Part III
6. Desires in Languages
7. Out of Class, Into the Street