The realities of being a woman-teacher in the mountains of Tajikistan

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This article presents the realities of being a woman teacher during the total and radical transition from Soviet to post-Soviet periods. The case of Nigin (a pseudonym) is presented through a dialectical, socio-historical and symbolic inter-actionist approach. This is constructed through (a) the amalgamation of various research methods (e.g., case study, life history and critical ethnography) used throughout data collection, analysis, and representation; (b) the presentation of Nigin’s life and work by moving between the larger context (district-village-school) and the classroom (content-methods-relations), and (c) employment of Nigin’s life and work as window to understanding the tensions between the continuities and changes in the society (e.g., modernity and tradition, free-market economy and socialism, religious revival and secularism, including incumbent atheism, literacy and education rhetoric and reality). By positioning Nigin’s life, educational worldview, instructional practices, and relationships at the center of the study, the case reveals how Nigin’s negotiation of her identity is constantly reshaped through the multiple realities and factors.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Cahiers d’Asie centrale