From School to Work: Muslim Youths’ Education and Employment Strategies in a Community in Uttar Pradesh, India

Discussion Papers

No.572

by Humayun Kabir

March 2016

ABSTRACT

India’s Muslim community, which accounts for 14.4 percent of India’s vast population and is thus the largest of all religious minorities, has been the subject of considerable development discourse as Muslims have the lowest level of educational attainment and standard of living among socio-religious groups in the country. This study addresses the meaning of education and career opportunities for Muslim youths in relation to their educational credentials and social position in the hierarchy of Muslim class and caste groups, with particular reference to a community in Uttar Pradesh. The author contends that the career opportunities, possibilities, and strategies of Muslim youths in Indian society depend on multiple factors: social hierarchy, opportunities to utilize economic resources, social networks, cultural capital, and the wider structural disparities within which the Muslims are situated and wherein they question the value of higher education in gaining them admission to socially recognized and established employment sectors.

Keywords: Muslim General, Muslim OBC, Youth, Education, Employment, Social Inequality, Social Network
JEL classification: I26

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