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Literature for the Intercultural Classroom: Discussing Ethnocentric Issues Using The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


This essay takes as its starting point that the Swedish classroom often is an intercultural environment and that it is therefore important to address issues connected to ethnocentrism in it. In this essay I examine how the novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid can be used in schools to raise such ethnocentric issues. The novel’s didactic potential becomes clear by capturing some of the views held by the book’s protagonist as an alternative to Western ethnocentric concepts. Furthermore, the ambiguity of the novel allows for students to reflect on the identification processes that produce ethnocentrism. The power of nostalgia is also discussed in this essay, and with it nostalgia’s possibly alluring, yet counterproductive qualities. Together, these topics and themes from The Reluctant Fundamentalist combine to illuminate a use of literature within the context of intercultural education.

Keywords: Intercultural education, Ethnocentrism, Calvinism, Islam, Capitalism.



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 29 p.
Keyword [en]
Postcolonialism, Religion, Multicultural Education
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-41525OAI: diva2:799914
Subject / course
Educational program
Lärarprogrammet, inriktning mot verksamhet i grundskolans senare år och gymnasiet

Dominant cultures exist in many different guises, yet may function almost invariably in symbiosis with double standards and discrimination. However, these acts are often only recognised by those being subjected to them, not by those practising the same. Selective concern and empathy depending on who the practitioners happen to be, as well as who the recipients of said acts are, actually helps to illustrate the precise definitions of these terms.

Available from: 2015-04-01 Created: 2015-03-31 Last updated: 2015-04-01Bibliographically approved

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