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African Higher Education Research Online - The future of blackness in predominantly white milieus: how blackness found and lost its place in the academy

   

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The future of blackness in predominantly white milieus: how blackness found and lost its place in the academy

Serote, Abraham Chupe

Abstract:
Using two studies both about the experiences and perceptions of black members of faculty on race and racism, in predominantly white academic milieus, the paper demonstrates that race is still a significant marker of privilege and despite the rhetoric of equity and redress; black faculty has continued to live in the fringes. The paper uses data from in-depth interviews conducted with black and white academic member of staff over a period of two years on two field sites. One, a predominantly white university and the other, predominantly black. Further data is also extracted from a continuing study on the experiences of black registrars at a predominantly white medical school. In debunking the phenomena of black alienation at these white milieus, the author employs Bourdieu’s thesis of habitus, to understand the existing dominant culture at the predominantly white university and its relation to the peripheral black enclaves. With exception of the predominantly black university, the paper presents dire state of the black experience while at the same time acknowledging the pragmatic and practical ways in which black faculty have sought to cushion or eschew the effects of racism.  Finally the paper argues that given the current socio-political context, wherein most dominant are the discourses of nation-building, non-racialism, and colour-blindness, it would be important that such experiences are brought to the fore through empirical studies so that existing power relations historically premised on the basis of race continue to remain in the nation’s consciousness as it strives to build a common future.
 

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Document Title: The future of blackness in predominantly white milieus: how blackness found and lost its place in the academy
Institution: Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town
City and Country: Cape Town, Republic of South Africa


Date:2007
Document Type:Paper (Not Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Staff
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Higher Education Transformation, South African Universities, Racial Discrimination, Historically Black Institutions HBI s, Historically White Institutions HWI s, Equity, Gender Bias


File Size:168 KB
Rights:Permission to use this paper was granted by the author
Date Added:23 October 2007


Serote, Abraham Chupe (2007). The future of blackness in predominantly white milieus: how blackness found and lost its place in the academy University of Cape Town, Cape Town, R.S.A.

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