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An exploration of postcolonial feminist public pedagogy of an Anganwadi union on Facebook Gupta, Neha


This thesis explores of the pedagogical implications of a Facebook page of a Delhi-based Anganwadi Union known as the Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union (DSAWHU). DSAWHU represents the voices of thousands of women community healthcare workers treated as petty workers or volunteers—women who are struggling to make improvements in their lives for many years and who have been marginalized in neoliberal India. The purpose of this study was to know about the ways in which DSAWHU leaders manage to engage their followers, educate Anganwadis about citizenship and emerge as public pedagogues, with an intention to create a social movement. For this study, I have conceptualized Facebook as a public space for education and learning. Looking at this space through the lens of postcolonial feminist theory and the theory of feminist pedagogy, I attempted to deepen our academic understanding of the concept- “postcolonial feminist public pedagogy.” Employing multimodal content analysis as a qualitative research methodology, I analyzed the multiple modes of communication that are evident on this Union’s Facebook Page. The data analysis is based on my feminist epistemic sense that is constructed from my lived experience in both urban and rural parts of India, and my personal experience with an Anganwadi a few years ago. By making meaning of the virtual communication on Facebook and understanding the Union leader and moderators as public pedagogues, and followers as learners, I found that the feminist engagement strategies of this Union to empower their communities through education appears a bit differently than is understood in the most Eurocentric literature of feminist and public pedagogy for community building and liberation. Also, if moderated carefully, considerably and with utmost dedication and a focussed purpose, unions like Anganwadis can gain worldwide attention on social media such as Facebook, which they don’t get otherwise. This can create a public narrative about the feminism of marginalized communities of India on social media platforms, which could expand our knowledge about the transnational feminist movement.

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