NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ892778
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0258-2236
Knowing Their Lines: How Social Boundaries Undermine Equity-Based Integration Policies in United States and South African Schools
Carter, Prudence; Caruthers, Jakeya; Foster, Jessica
Perspectives in Education, v27 n4 p351-364 Dec 2009
In this paper we argue that although the United States and South Africa have produced qualitatively different national frames about the necessity for racial integration in education, certain practices converge in both nations at the school level that thwart integrationist goals. Drawing on sociologist Jeannie Oakes and colleagues' idea of schools as "zones of mediation" of economic, racial, social, and cultural phenomena, we provide empirical evidence of how a complex set of social interactions--sustained by explicit organized school practices--limit educators' and students' abilities to accept and comply with integrationist aims of equity and the redress of cumulative disadvantages due to past racial discrimination. We discuss how social and symbolic boundaries reproduced by educational actors in everyday school practices illuminate the macromicro tension between the goals of racial integration policy and perceived group interests. Our arguments emerge from thorough analyses of ethnographic, interview, and survey data obtained over a four-year period from multiracial and desegregated schools located in four US and South African cities.
Perspectives in Education. Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa. Fax: +27-51-401-7044; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa; United States