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ERIC Number: EJ1120063
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1085-3545
The Cultural Contours of Democracy: Indigenous Epistemologies Informing South African Citizenship
Kubow, Patricia K.; Min, Mina
Democracy & Education, v24 n2 Article 5 2016
Drawing upon the African concept of "ubuntu," this article examines the epistemic orientations toward individual-society relations that inform democratic citizenship and identity in South Africa. Findings from focus group interviews conducted with 50 Xhosa teachers from all seven primary and intermediate schools in a township outside Cape Town depict the cultural contours of democracy and how the teachers reaffirm and question the dominant Western-oriented democratic narrative. Through "ubuntu," defined as the virtue of being human premised upon respect, the Xhosa teachers interrupt the prevailing rights-and-responsibilities discourse to interpose a conception of democracy based on rights, responsibilities, and respect. Society and schools, in their view, fall short in educating young learners for democratic citizenship in South Africa; their insights offer ways for formal schooling to improve upon its democratic mission.
Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road MSC 93, Portland, OR 97219. Tel: 503-768-6054; Fax: 503-768-6053; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Cape Town)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A