ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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School Textbooks: From Sublime to the Ridiculous

School Textbooks: From Sublime to the Ridiculous

A Class XII Sociology textbook of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education was found to have written on a number of social practices and trends as if it were explaining the legitimacy of such practices rather than encouraging reflection on their regressive features.

In early February, a sentence linking, “ugliness” of a girl to “demands of dowry,” in a Class XII Sociology textbook of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, produced and distributed by the Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research, made news headlines. The book which has six authors, lists “ugliness” as the 12th cause of dowry. “If girl is ugly and handicapped, then it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry such girls bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. Parents of such girls become helpless and pay dowry as per the demands of bridegroom family” (p 78). Other causes listed for dowry are equally random and absurd, such as,

expectations of suitable bridegroom (usually parents expect suitable, well-educated, well matched, better earning, good character and well cultured bridegroom for their daughter. They also expect well-to-do in-laws, so that she can live happily after marriage. Hence they are prepared to spend more money at the time of marriage); compensation principle (parents of bridegroom demand more dowry at the time of their son’s marriage in order to compensate for the dowry amount they have paid for their daughter’s marriage); social prestige and help to newly married life. (MSBHSE 2016)

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Updated On : 9th Mar, 2017

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