NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ946514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0738-0593
Immigrant Students' Shifting Identifications in South African Schools
Vandeyar, Saloshna
International Journal of Educational Development, v32 n2 p232-240 Mar 2012
The easing of legal and unauthorized entry to South Africa has made the country a new destination for Black immigrants. As this population continues to grow, its children have begun to experience South African schools in an array of uniquely challenging ways. For these immigrant youth, forging a sense of identity may be their single greatest challenge. There is however, very little research on the ways in which immigrant student identities are framed, challenged, asserted and negotiated in South African schools. Accordingly, this study asks how do immigrant students speak about their identifications in light of their negotiation of the school and social spaces in South Africa. Utilising the theoretical frameworks of understanding immigrant identities and identity pathways, this research study attempts to understand the unique experiences of Black immigrant youth inside South African schools. Findings were multi-fold in nature. First, although immigrant students' ease of assimilation into the chosen reference group was to some degree sanctioned by their phenotypic racial features, their attempt at "psychosocial passing" was politically motivated. Second, immigrant students did not readily classify according to skin pigmentocracy. Third, the majority of immigrant students heightened their ethnic self-awareness in forming their identity, but also assumed hyphenated identities. Fourth, immigrant students were not seen as having an identity, but rather as being "plugged into a category with associated characteristics or features". Fifth immigrant students forged a "continental identity". And sixth, the self-agency of immigrant students was twofold in nature; not only did they want to improve their own condition, but there seemed to be an inherent drive to improve the human condition of others.
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; 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