5 Akbari and Asghari Reappear [chapter]

2019 Forging the Ideal Educated Girl  
As the previous chapter showed, mass schooling in Pakistan has become one of the most dominant societal institutions for the reproduction of the next generation of citizen-subjects. Schools have taken over some of the key roles around the nurturing and instruction of young people that were previously reserved for the family and religious authorities. This has led to contestations around appropriate training of young people and the reassertion of the role of the home and/or alternate educative
more » ... stitutions in the cultural and ethical formation of the child. Education, thus, has transformed into a densely contested field with multiple actors-the state, the family, religious institutions, as well as mass media-seeking to define ideal subjectivities and proper relationships that young people must have to the state, home, waged work, the opposite sex, and religion. These relationships are important because they are the means in and through which economic and cultural privileges are reproduced and new ones accessed, and identities reinforced and remade. Against this background, in the current chapter I explore televised visualities, which prescribe and prohibit particular forms of femininity. As forms of "public pedagogies, " 1 cultural productions such as television teach viewers about certain possible subjectivities, while simultaneously reproducing and resisting others. In the immediate aftermath of Pakistan's political independence, television programming was closely tied to nationalistic interests. However, the wider availability of television sets and the entrance of numerous private television networks in recent decades has enabled diverse programming. Television today forms one of the most accessible and influential discursive spaces that mediates social imaginaries. Hence, I see a television production as yet another kind of "text" in a genealogy that functions as an "actant" within a social system. While a
doi:10.1525/9780520970533-007 fatcat:eyfsp2ku55gs3dklhsgz6lib7m