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ERIC Number: EJ1177474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0726-2655
Democracy's Rise or Demise?: South African Adolescent Perspectives from Schools in a Xhosa Township
Kubow, Patricia; Berlin, Laura
Education and Society, v31 n2 p25-50 2013
This qualitative case study explores the potential of schooling to foster democratic citizenship while also revealing the social forces of inertia and inequality that still pervade secondary education in one Xhosa township outside Cape Town, South Africa. Using critical theory to examine citizenship discourse among the township's youth, the perspectives of Black adolescents are analysed in relation to the meanings they assign to 'democracy,' the values and skills they consider necessary for success in South Africa, and the role that schooling should play in preparing them for democratic citizenship. The data from selected Grade 10-12 students from all five high schools in the township reveal a civic, yet cultural construction of democracy and concern for both life orientation and career preparation in schools. For these adolescents, the message that the township's schools promote is that of a Western cultural revolution in a society marked by a decline in the value attributed to African indigenous knowledge bases. The article addresses how the values and skills needed for a democratic citizenry, as expressed by the students, are inextricably linked to psychosocial characteristics that influence their self-esteem and academic confidence.
James Nicholas Publishers. PO Box 5179, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 Australia. Tel: +61-39-696-5545; Fax: +61-39-699-2040; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A