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The impact of race, gender, and culture in South African higher education

Mabokela, Reitumetse Obakeng; Mawila, Kaluke

This article examines the obstacles of race, gender, and culture to the professional advancement of Black female scholars and administrators in South African institutions of higher education.   South African women have always been underrepresented in the higher education sector and it is important to understand their experiences in order to facilitate the establishment of institutional environments that will be supportive to their professional endeavours.  The article attempts to demystify the status of Black women in the South African higher education sector.  This research is theoretically informed by two bodies of research.  Firstly, the authors consider the work highlighting the global marginalization of women scholars.  Secondly, they draw upon research examining the gendered organizational cultures of universities.  Mabokela and Mawila cite various authors' opinions when examining the status of women and their positions in higher education institutions.  The findings of this article are based on intensive open -ended interviews with 20 Black women scholars and administrators at Rural University and Coastline University, which are two historically black universities; Seashore University, a historically White university and City Technikon, a historically Black Technikon.  The authors mention and discuss the themes that emerged from the interviews conducted with the women and concludes that their research shows that much needs to be done to ensure that black women are retained and supported in their pursuit of academic professions.        

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Document Title: The impact of race, gender, and culture in South African higher education
Journal: Comparative Education Review
Volume: 48
Issue: 4
No. of Pages: 396-416

Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Keywords:Race, Gender, Culture, South African Universities, Higher Education Institutions HEI s, Female Students, Organisational Culture, Case Study, Women in Higher Education

File Size:121 KB
Rights:The publisher prefers that the published pdf version be posted on the site as opposed to any post-or pre-prints. The prescribed embargo period has expired, therefore the article is accessible.
Date Added:10 April 2007

Mabokela, Reitumetse Obakeng; Mawila, Kaluke (2004). The impact of race, gender, and culture in South African higher education, Comparative Education Review, 48(4):396-416