Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Language, identity, and social divides: medium of instruction debates in Bangladeshi print media

By M. Obaidul Hamid and Iffat Jahan


This article critically examines the role of language as medium of instruction (MOI) in shaping students’ self-perceptions, worldviews, and identities in a globalizing world. We draw on identity and social positioning theories and on Bourdieu’s concepts of capital and symbolic struggle to frame our investigation. Using an analytical framework comprising critical discourse analysis and qualitative content analysis, we analyze letters written by Bangla- and English-medium writers to the editor of a Bangladeshi English newspaper to illustrate how discursive identity construction for “self” and “other” engaged the two groups in identity battles. We argue that (a) discursive identity politics may not be characterized in essentialist or nonessentialist terms exclusively but may actually draw on both depending on whether the representation is of self or other; and (b) although MOI is inextricably linked to social divides, the roots of the divides may lie in the social rather than in the discursive space

Topics: Education & Educational Research, Education & Educational Research, 3304 Education
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1086/679192
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.