Schoolwork: On being educated in eastern Uganda

13th October 2022

In eastern Uganda ‘being educated’ is something people work on throughout their lives.  An educated identity is developed through joining committees, educating children, subscribing to a recognizable set of behaviors.  Education is a ‘scaffold’ that can be built up or knocked down, related to, but not confined to, experiences of going to school or being young.  ‘Being educated’ has ongoing political advantages: those who are seen as more educated have a better time of things in disputes, in dealing with different authorities, and are more likely to benefit from government and NGO schemes.   Examples from different social settings highlight the need for an ethnographically open, relationally aware, and politically attuned approach to what people are doing when claiming an educated identity.