‘Why mouth all the pieties?’: Black and women academic’s revelations about discourses of ‘transformation’ at an historically white South African institution

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Abstract

With inequality persistent across geopolitical contexts, ‘transformation’ continues to be expediently cited in the rhetoric of higher education institutions. Illuminating alike issues worldwide, the paper critically examines race, quality and oppression among the black and women academics who have been the recipients of post-apartheid development programmes at an historically white institution in South Africa. It presents their responses to the espoused discourses of transformation as portrayed in the Integrated Transformation Plans of South African universities, which extend from reparation; compliance; relevance; evolution; psychological; contexts; social; review; to mission. Utilising a report-and-respond approach, participants responded to the definitions of each notion outlined in a questionnaire, followed by non-deterministic small group discussions of the researchers’ interpretations of their responses. These recipients’ lived experiences provided deep insights, from within, into the significance of misalignment between transformation discourses and practice for transforming the institutional culture of the dominant in-group. Emerging ahead of the implementation of a self-regulatory transformation tool for higher education institutions across that national context, these findings point to the importance of external mechanisms for holding institutions to account for what they espouse, and for their responsiveness to higher education research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe changing shape of higher education: Can excellence and inclusion cohabit? Society for Research in Higher Education
- Celtic Manor, Newport, United Kingdom
Duration: 05 Dec 201807 Dec 2018
http://www.srhe.ac.uk/conference2018/

Conference

ConferenceThe changing shape of higher education: Can excellence and inclusion cohabit? Society for Research in Higher Education
Abbreviated titleSRHE 2018
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityNewport
Period05/12/201807/12/2018
Internet address

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Keywords

  • higher education research
  • higher education
  • academic
  • equality
  • race
  • transformation
  • critical discourse analysis
  • belonging

Cite this

Belluigi, D. Z. (2018). ‘Why mouth all the pieties?’: Black and women academic’s revelations about discourses of ‘transformation’ at an historically white South African institution. Paper presented at The changing shape of higher education: Can excellence and inclusion cohabit? Society for Research in Higher Education
, Newport, United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.20051.84006