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Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria
Everyday Experiences of Youth, Faith, and Poverty

$99.99 (C)

Part of The International African Library

  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108425292

$ 99.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In a global context of widespread fears over Islamic radicalisation and militancy, poor Muslim youth, especially those socialised in religious seminaries, have attracted overwhelmingly negative attention. In northern Nigeria, male Qur'anic students have garnered a reputation of resorting to violence in order to claim their share of highly unequally distributed resources. Drawing on material from long-term ethnographic and participatory fieldwork among Qur'anic students and their communities, this book offers an alternative perspective on youth, faith, and poverty. Mobilising insights from scholarship on education, poverty research and childhood and youth studies, Hannah Hoechner describes how religious discourses can moderate feelings of inadequacy triggered by experiences of exclusion, and how Qur'anic school enrolment offers a way forward in constrained circumstances, even though it likely reproduces poverty in the long run. A pioneering study of religious school students conducted through participatory methods, this book presents vital insights into the concerns of this much-vilified group.

    • Provides valuable insights into the role that religion plays in the everyday lives of poor, young Qur'anic students
    • Offers a novel perspective by bringing research from education studies, poverty research, and youth studies to bear on debates about Islamic education
    • Uses ethnographic and participatory methods to uncover the real perspectives of Qur'anic students and their communities in northern Nigeria
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘As the only full-length ethnography of classical Qur'anic education in Africa - and indeed, as far as I know, anywhere else - this is a tremendously important book … and, I cannot stress enough, unique contribution to the literature.' Robert Launay, Northwestern University, Illinois

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108425292
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 162 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of maps
    List of tables
    Notes on translation and anonymization
    1. Porridge, piety, and patience: Qur'anic schooling in northern Nigeria
    2. Fair game for unfair accusations? Discourses about Qur'anic students
    3. 'Secular schooling is schooling for the rich!' Inequality and educational change in northern Nigeria
    4. Peasants, privations, and piousness: how boys become Qur'anic students
    5. Inequality at close range: domestic service for the better-off
    6. Concealment, asceticism, and cunning Americans: how to deal with being poor? 7. Mango medicine and morality: pursuing a respectable position within society
    8. Spiritual security services in an insecure setting: Kano's 'prayer economy'
    9. Roles, risks, and reproduction: what almajiri education implies for society and for the future
    Annex: synopsis 'Duniya Juyi Juyi – How Life Goes'

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    Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria

    Hannah Hoechner

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  • Author

    Hannah Hoechner, Université Libre de Bruxelles
    Hannah Hoechner is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp and a research associate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford and has conducted extensive ethnographic research in Nigeria, Senegal, and the US. Her work has been published in Africa, Children's Geographies, Qualitative Research, the International Journal for Social Research Methodology, the European Journal of Development Research, and Afrique Contemporaine. As part of her work in Nigeria, she has produced the participatory docu-drama 'Duniya Juyi Juyi – How Life Goes', which won the AFRICAST 2012 Special Award 'Participatory Video for Development'.

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