Ghaffar-Kucher, Ameena

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Curriculum and Instruction
Education
Educational Sociology
Inequality and Stratification
International and Comparative Education
Race and Ethnicity
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Teacher Education and Professional Development
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Faculty Member
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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    Writing Culture; Inscribing Lives: A Reflective Treatise on the Burden of Representation in Native Research
    (2014-01-01) Ghaffar-Kucher, Ameena
    This paper complicates the contested assumptions surrounding native research by exploring the burden of representation placed on native researchers because they are seen as insiders. This particular issue of representation is important for native researchers to consider, especially in instances where the research is on an understudied or politically charged group, because of the ways in which the socio-political climate influences both the telling and the reading of such research. Drawing on the author’s personal struggles as a Pakistani researcher conducting ethnographic research with Pakistani immigrants in the United States in the post-9/11 climate, this paper explores and critiques the role of the native researcher and the issues involved with representing understudied groups. Specifically, the paper focuses on authenticity, positionality, audience, and accountability. Thus, the paper is a call for researchers to be more reflective and to think more deeply about their positionality and its impact on the various constituents as they research and write. To encourage such reflexivity, the article provides a set of questions for researchers to consider at different stages of the research and writing process.
  • Publication
    ‘Narrow-Minded and Oppressive’ or a ‘Superior Culture’? Implications of Divergent Representations of Islam for Pakistani-American Youth
    (2015-01-01) Ghaffar-Kucher, Ameena
    Drawing on ethnographic data, this article examines the complex terrain that working-class Pakistani-American youth must negotiate in their daily lives. Specifically, the article illustrates how particular views of Islam and Americanization manifest in particular sites and within educational discourses, and the resulting dissonance that youth experience. On the one hand, schools view Islam as oppressive, problematic and a hindrance to the youths’ academic and professional success. On the other hand, families present Islam as a type of cultural capital that can guide youth and help them navigate their lives by being a ‘good Muslim.’ The result of these fossilized views of culture and nationality is the production of an ‘imagined nostalgia’: One group longs for a world where assimilation into the dominant group is expected and accepted; the other longs for the homeland, which they try to recreate in their new home. Thus, in their own ways, both schools and communities send the message that being Muslim and being American is not compatible. Consequently, rather than view being Muslim and American in an additive way, youth believe that they can only be one or the other, which often translates into placing themselves outside the realm of American cultural citizenship.
  • Publication
    Module 6: George W. Bush's Legacy: The Global War on Terror (v2)
    (University of Pennsylvania, 2023-05-01) Ghaffar-Kucher, Ameena; Hilal, Maha; Garrity, Kris
    This module introduces students to the key architects of the 9/11 wars known as the singular Global War on Terror. Many of these individuals believed that these wars had to be fought at all costs-even human rights. The module examines official White House records claiming the wars to be a success with research suggesting otherwise as well as civilian testimony that provides a human face to these wars. The final lesson provides students with a basic understanding of what constitutes torture, how it has been defined by the United Nations and why the US’ actions were in defiance to international law.
  • Publication
    USE UPDATED VERSION Module 6 - George W. Bush’s Legacy: The Global War on Terror (2006)
    (University of Pennsylvania, 2023-03-01) Ghaffar-Kucher, Ameena; Hilal, Maha; Garrity, Kris
    This module introduces students to the key architects of the 9/11 wars known as the singular Global War on Terror. Many of these individuals believed that these wars had to be fought at all costs-even human rights. The module examines official White House records claiming the wars to be a success with research suggesting otherwise as well as civilian testimony that provides a human face to these wars. The final lesson provides students with a basic understanding of what constitutes torture, how it has been defined by the United Nations and why the US’ actions were in defiance to international law.
  • Publication
    The Religification of Pakistani-American Youth
    (2011-02-01) Ghaffar-Kucher, Ameena
    This article describes a cultural production process called religification, in which religious affiliation, rather than race or ethnicity, has become the core category of identity for working-class Pakistani-American youth in the United States. In this dialectical process, triggered by political changes following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Muslim identity is both thrust upon Pakistani-American youth by those who question their citizenship and embraced by the youth themselves. Specifically, the article examines the ways in which schools are sites where citizenship is both constructed and contested and the roles that peers, school personnel, families, and the youth themselves play in this construction/contestation of citizenship.