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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Shifting race and class in student construction of identities at a South African university
Authors:Singh, Tasmeera
Bhana, DeeviaISNI
Year:2015
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Volume:13
Issue:3
Pages:199-210
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:students
identity
race relations
class relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2015.1074537
Abstract:The changing social and economic condition in South Africa has resulted in the rising number of middle-class Africans. These changing class dynamics have also seen the changes in the higher education environment, ensuring the intake of more African students into university. Race and class continues to mark student identity construction which has implications for social cohesion. This paper discusses how class troubles an essentialist construction of student racialised identities. The authors argue that whilst there are shifts in student relations fuelled by the changing class dynamics in society, there are also continuities - and yet these continuities do not proliferate in homogenous ways. The paper discusses the construction of African student identities and the role that class plays in marginalising same-race relations within the higher education environment. Class is illuminated through the urban/rural divide, the role of language and through a discourse of taste. This paper focuses on the constructions of a select group of African students who come from working-class and middle-class backgrounds at a South African institution situated at the nexus of social transformation. The analysis draws attention to class, and the subversion of power relations and hegemonic practices through the mobilisation of agency in students' talk and action. This paper is important in highlighting changing student relations fuelled by the changing class dynamics and their implications for social cohesion. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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