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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The colour of success: a qualitative study of affirmative action attitudes of black academics in South Africa
Authors:Durrheim, KevinISNI
Boettiger, MerridyISNI
Periodical:Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:affirmative action
External link:https://muse.jhu.edu/article/230616
Abstract:A number of studies in the US have shown that white people's attitudes towards affirmative action are largely negative and ambivalent. This ambivalent opposition to affirmative action has been explained in terms of a commitment to equality and sympathy for the plight of many poor black people, on the one hand, but lingering racial prejudice, intergroup competition and ideological conservatism on the other hand. This study addresses the paucity of research on black attitudes to affirmative action to determine the nature and range of black attitudes. Since the main explanations of white opposition to affirmative action (anti-black prejudice and intergroup competition) do not apply in the case of blacks, a second aim of the study is to identify factors that could account for opposition to affirmative action among black people. Eight open-ended interviews were conducted with black academics employed at a historically white university in South Africa. Interviewees spoke about affirmative action in general as well as the role that it had played in their own careers. The results reveal high levels of tension and conflict in the talk about affirmative action, which the study characterizes as ambivalent support. The prime reason for opposition to affirmative action is the stigma associated with being a (potential) beneficiary of the policy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]