AA 2018 Volume 50 Issue 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    A discourse analysis of audience deliberation in online forums on race-relevant news
    (University of the Free State, 2018) Conradie, Marthinus; Brokensha, Susan
    In a post-cyber-utopian world, scholars are aware that online discussions emanating from newspaper articles do not automatically exhibit democratic discourse. Against this background, we aim to delineate some of the main attributes of deliberative discourse in an online news site for the South African Mail & Guardian. We are particularly interested in determining how interlocutors justify conclusions through warrants. Warrants are discourse moves that link conclusions with evidence, and we examine their role in contesting the ideological productiveness of opposing arguments. Focusing on race-sensitive discussions, we combine a content- and discourse-analytic framework to identify the deliberative dynamics of warrants in online debates hosted by the Mail & Guardian. We argue that warrants, as a conceptual tool, offer a fruitful purchase on the enactment of deliberation in naturally-occurring settings. Moreover, they seem cardinal for the contestation of ideology, notably when deliberation is suffused with the analysis of power relations in highly-charged topics.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An examination of the potential of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) for explaining transitions in national education systems
    (University of the Free State, 2018) Van der Walt, Johannes L.; Wolhuter, Charl C.
    The political upheavals in Eastern Europe and in Southern Africa in the period 1985 to 1995 have had serious implications for education and education systems in the countries involved. Education system experts have in the past used various theoretical tools to examine and explain the complex transformations that took place. Transitiology, social action theory and critical theory are some of these tools. An examination of these theoretical tools shows that they do not quite succeed in embracing and explaining all the factors at play in the transformations under investigation. This article proposes cultural-historical activity theory as a more suitable alternative, and illustrates this thesis with reference to the South African transition (1990 onwards).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Conceiving global culture: Frantz Fanon and the politics of identity
    (University of the Free State, 2018) Mba, Chika
    The article introduces Frantz Fanon’s notion of cultural humanism as a new way of conceiving global culture and, simultaneously, models a new framework for understanding the ethics and politics of identity today. Drawing critical insights from Fanon’s ‘Racism and Culture’ and The Wretched of the Earth as well as the work of several other non-essentialist thinkers, the article develops an anti-essentialist theory of (global) culture, asserting that culture and its values constitute a contested universal that all human beings are equal claimants to its appropriation, such that a particular putative culture is neither the basis of any individual or group identity, nor the grounds for treating anyone unjustly. In problematising global culture, the article foils Fanon’s cultural humanism against a tradition of essentialist conceptions of culture in the thoughts of prominent Euro-American writers, from Immanuel Kant to Samuel P. Huntington. These other authors are usually thought of as developing theories of global culture, but evidently ended up with narrow/nationalistic, and racist and essentialist, notions of culture. At the same time, we choose Fanon and his theory of global cultureas company throughout the article not only because his work and activism aimed to undo one of the most egregio us consequences of false conceptions of (global) culture, colonialism, but because his work has continued to be relevant in many contemporary liberation/humanistic discourses, even as he has sometimes been narrowly read as defending cultural nationalism.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Improving professionalism in South African local government
    (University of the Free State, 2018) Kroukamp, Hendri; Cloete, Fanie
    It is assumed that public sector organisations will act in a professional way in the execution of their daily tasks. However, the contrary is experienced when assessing the performance of local government in South Africa. Municipal service delivery is often plagued by alleged financial irregularities, maladministration, corruption, mismanagement, service delivery protests and lack of trust by citizens. To improve this situation, it is proposed that particular competencies and capabilities be acquired by employees to promote more professional conduct; that an environment of more responsiveness, high performance and clear accountability be created; a culture of really putting people first be inculcated; financial sustainability and management be ensured; and that institutional capacity be improved through direct and indirect support interventions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Monologue and multivocality in San rock art studies
    (University of the Free State, 2018) Dederen, J-M.; Mokakabye, J.
    It is contended here that the leading approach in San rock art studies, commonly referred to as the shamanistic model or theory, has evolved over a period of three decades into a dominant voice. The prominence of this particular theoretical orientation has obscured alternative ways and means of understanding the artistic heritage of the hunter-gatherers who once inhabited the sub-continent. In order to stimulate multivocality and debate the authors have identified, by means of an extensive literature search, the diverse vantage points from which the paintings and engravings of the San could be examined. Based on the results of their survey a more inclusive form of analysis is first proposed and then briefly tested against a composite painting from a rock art site in Limpopo.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ecofeminism and an ethic of care: developing an eco-jurisprudence
    (University of the Free State, 2018) Cross, Carin Lesley
    This article looks into the damaging effect of the disintegrated relationship between humanity and nature. The current relationship we have with nature is hierarchal and fragmented because it is rooted in a culture of separation created by a ‘masculine’ modernity. The patriarchal values of rationality and power have othered the natural environment and women. In order to prevent irreparable ecological destruction, we need to change the relationship between humanity and nature to one that is ecologically responsive. I examine how ecofeminist literature enables us to challenge the hierarchical structure created by dualisms thereby uprooting the current patriarchal oppressive system. It reveals how an ethic of care approach can transcend the modern patriarchal structures that have promoted dominion over nature and contextually and narratively recreate the human and nature relationship. The value of this research lies in the fact that central to an ethic of care is the respect and care for all earthly beings, an ethic which listens to, and is responsive to the diversity of all ‘environmental voices’.