Analysing Texts for Multicultural Markers: Case Study of Texts Used in a Scottish School and an Indian School
The context which occasions this study is the established multicultural reality of India and the developing multicultural spectrum of Scotland (see Sections 3.2, 3.3, 3.4). The aims, objectives and/ or policies of the two governments (see Section 3.5) - and the respective boards of education in the two countries (see Section 3.6) - provide the high idealistic foundations that such institutions stand for. The study uses the discourse analysis method (see Section 4.2 for definition) to evaluate how far the texts used by schools in India and Scotland reflect such high ideals – how far the texts contain multicultural markers (see Section 5.4 for definition) and how these markers are exploited through the exercises. The study takes into account even the materials containing multicultural markers that may not have anything to do with social injustice. It is a case study because, due to lack of time and space, the study takes into account only one representative book each from India and Scotland. The study is an endeavour to incorporate two features influenced by Norman Fairclough’s ideas (see Section 5.2 and Section 1.5, respectively): one, a selective discourse analysis approach; and two, an interdisciplinary approach – interdisciplinary in the sense that it integrates discourse analysis, cultural studies and history. As part of the second approach, this study includes the following: first, critical discourse analysis (see Section 4.3 for definition) of a representative text – one out of the 108 texts from the two books; and second, two chapters – Chapters 2 and 3 – which elucidate on the following ideas and issues: multiculturalism; ethnicity, nation and state; ethnic compositions of the two states; history of multiculturalism in India and Scotland; the policies towards multiculturalism in India and Scotland; and objectives of the two respective boards of education. My research question is answered (see Section 5.1 for research question; see Section 7.2 for its answer) and my hypothesis is tested (see Section 5.1 for hypothesis; see Section 7.2 for its test) on the basis of the evaluation of the texts by using the discourse analysis method. The study incorporates critical discourse analysis of a representative text in order to complement the findings of the discourse analysis method and to demonstrate how various aspects of a text can be exploited to raise the awareness of learners about cultures and related social issues. The discussion that follows the results incorporates ethics, analysis of the findings, limitations of this study, scope for further research in the area and implications of the research.