“I Want to Be Respected”: Migration, Mobility, and the Construction of Alternate Educational Discourses in Rural Bangladesh



In a context of globalization, individual aspirations transcend the local as people seek to move to distant locations to fulfill their own as well as larger social expectations. Formal schooling often does not lead to the acquisition of appropriate knowledge or relevant skills to attaining these aspirations, making students opt for vocational or other specialist skills. Based on empirical research in Bangladesh, this paper explores the meanings of learning, both formal and informal, for young men aspiring to social and economic mobility. Theoretically, the paper demonstrates the ways in which learning is situated within social institutions and the power relationships therein and constituted jointly by the agent, the activity, and the larger global context.