The religious lives of Sikh children in Coventry
Nesbitt, Eleanor M. (1995) The religious lives of Sikh children in Coventry. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1400724~S1
In the context of earlier studies of Sikhs in the British diaspora and of the nurture of
children in their parents' faith tradition, this thesis reports an ethnographic study of the
nurture of eight to thirteen year old Sikhs in Coventry. The study develops earlier
anthropological insights, notably using the interpretive approach of Clifford Geertz.
For the purpose of analysis nurture is classified as informal (unplanned and family
based) and formal (supplementary classes in mother tongue and devotional music).
Both provided evidence of diversity within the Panth (Sikh community), signalled for
example by iconography and dietary norms. They also suggested processes of change,
as details of Sikh and non-Sikh cultural practice interacted. The celebration of
birthdays and of the Vaisalchi festival serve as exemplars of the complex interactions
involved, for which Baumann provides analytical tools.
Examination of the data in association with the presentation of the religious worlds of
young Sikhs in religious education curriculum books revealed some divergence. This
is explored with particular reference to subjects' use of the word 'God', their experience
of amrit (holy water) and their understanding of the word 'Sikh', especially in relation
to the five Ks.
On the basis of these observations of change, diversity and the discrepancy between
curriculum book presentation and the ethnographic data, chapter twelve identifies
processes at work in the Panth. Fox's dynamic concept of culture 'in the making'
strengthens the contention that the Sikh tradition is shaped at the level of individual
decisions (eg over language use) by children and their elders. Further it is argued that
ethnographic findings have implications for the portrayal of the religious lives of young
Sikhs in curriculum books.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Sikhs -- Religious life -- England -- Coventry, Children -- Religious life -- England -- Coventry|
|Official Date:||March 1995|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Institute of Education|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Jackson, Robert, 1945-|
|Sponsors:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Extent:||v, 349 leaves|
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