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ERIC Number: EJ834984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0738-0593
Making Different Equal? Fractured State and Ruptured Policy: The National Qualifications Framework in South Africa
Lugg, Rosemary
International Journal of Educational Development, v29 n3 p260-267 May 2009
This paper explores the making of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in South Africa, and asks how a policy that was intended to unite education and training, and build new forms of equality, failed to become hegemonic as the new state established itself. In so doing, it engages, and argues for, theoretical tools that help keep "the state" at the centre of policy analysis. The paper explores a rupture within the NQF between the fields of education and training by examining practices through which the policy developed between 1985 and 2007. Informed by involvement in these events, the author draws on data gathered from documents and interviews with over 70 participants engaged in making the NQF. Using a conceptual vocabulary derived from Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theory the paper analyses the way social antagonisms were constructed and political frontiers drawn in changing political conditions [Laclau, E., Mouffe, C., 1985. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. Verso, London]. The paper argues that the emergence, development and rupture in the NQF can be explained in relation to shifting hegemonic practices that sought to organise social relations throughout the transition and within the post-apartheid era. The policy is portrayed as a feature of the political transition, marking the articulation of elements within the fields of education and training by hegemonic formations concerned with securing a democratic economy within a global market. The analysis runs that there has been a failure to maintain hegemony and that a rupture has occurred along a fault line within the South African state between practices building a corporatist state and those constructing a developmental state. The paper argues that the fractures built into the South African NQF point to complex challenges that states "at the margins" face when simultaneously articulating with differing, contradictory globalised practices, whilst also seeking to build equitable national education systems. Local concerns remain significant in struggles to re-make the state, and education and training policy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa