Dr Al-Karim Datoo, Research Coordinator for the Constituency Studies Unit at the IIS, presented a paper entitled ‘ Sociological exploration of values in a globalising context’ at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference ‘Engaging Sociology’ on 5 April 2013 in London.

In his presentation, Dr Datoo analysed how the forces and processes of globalisation impact the formation of values, with specific reference to understanding the nature of global-local dynamics which shape the social and moral values of youth in Pakistan. Drawing upon his one-year-long critical ethnographic study of a high school in Karachi, Dr Datoo argued that, like images, ideas, economies and people, value systems are also set in motion due to the processes of globalisation.

His presentation highlighted the complex trajectory of global cultural flows which circulate in the daily lives of youth (through media and education), as well as the variety of socio-political ideological exposure which in turn constitute and alter contemporary value-scapes of youth in the Pakistani context. In this regard, Dr Datoo theorised as to how opposing factors such as global and local, modern and traditional, occident and orient shape young people’s interpretations of the world, their self and others which, in turn, influence what youth come to value as worthwhile in their daily lives in today’s globalising world. Dr Datoo concluded his presentation by suggesting some theoretical optics which may prove useful in doing sociological studies on values.

Speaking about his presentation, Dr Datoo said:

‘My aim was to highlight some of the key theoretical optics with which to look at cross-cultural dynamics that play a part in the construction of values. This will help in designing ethnographic research around the theme of globalisation and the development of values.’

Dr Al-Karim Datoo is a Research Coordinator in the Department of Constituency Studies at the IIS. Prior to joining the IIS, Dr Datoo was an Assistant Professor at the Aga Khan University - Institute of Educational Development where he taught and researched for 9 years in areas of educational research, social sciences and humanities. Dr Datoo has a PhD in Sociology of Education from McGill University, Canada. His doctoral ethnography explored the nexus between cultural globalisation, curriculum and youth identity in an urban Pakistani context. Prior to his PhD, Dr Datoo completed an MSc in Educational Research Methodology at the University of Oxford and is a graduate of the IIS Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities.