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ERIC Number: EJ1178261
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1085-3545
Drawing on the Past to Open up Possible Futures
Ambrosio, John
Democracy & Education, v26 n1 Article 10 2018
This article is a response to a qualitative study that examined how the indigenous African notion of "ubuntu" informs how some school teachers in a Black township in South Africa conceptualize Western-oriented narratives of democracy. While the study acknowledges important differences in how ubuntu is understood and defined, the author argues that it nonetheless tends to overlook them in order to harness ubuntu as a force for positive social change and national development. The author argues that ubuntu could potentially serve as a powerful cultural force for change, but this requires a context in which some of the moral qualities associated with ubuntu are more widely practiced and visible in communities and in the policies and practices of government at all levels. It also requires a reconceptualization of ubuntu as an inclusive and nonessentialized notion that is responsive to the practical needs of contemporary South African society. [The article is in response to "The Cultural Contours of Democracy: Indigenous Epistemologies Informing South African Citizenship." To view this article, see EJ1120063.]
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; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A