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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Structural orientation and social agency in South Africa: State, race, higher education and transformation
Authors:Thaver, Lionel
Thaver, Beverley
Periodical:African Sociological Review (ISSN 1027-4332)
Geographic term:South Africa
higher education
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24487541
Abstract:Taking as their brief and context the latest upsurge in incidents of a racist nature in certain higher education institutions in South Africa, the authors apply D.T. Goldberg's (2002) theoretical framework, in which he focuses on the emergence, formation, existence and transformation of racial formations as constitutive of social life, to higher education in order to reveal the shifts across the social formations of segregation, apartheid and constitutional democracy. Goldberg's concept of racial naturalist and racial historicist traditions of social agency, when applied to higher education institutions, discloses legacies of a differentiated racial regime. In this regard, the authors take up the trajectory of racialisation as in its segregationist and apartheid modalities of State formation; its deracialisation in South Africa's postapartheid modality of social engagement towards the non-racial project of constitutional democracy as a movement beyond the shadow of racist thinking both implicit and explicit. The thrust of their engagement is that in order to make sense of racial formations and their modalities of structural orientation and social agency one needs to think of racism within the complex of a State-race-class nexus. In sum then, the argument they make vis--vis the differentiated racialised orders is that South Africans need to embed themselves within their national, South African, and continental, African, contexts in order to challenge the racial traditions that continue to bedevil efforts towards consolidating constitutional democracy and its concomitant epistemic project. Bibliogr., note, sum. [Journal abstract]