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dc.contributor.advisorCoetzee, Jan K.
dc.contributor.advisorElliker, Florian
dc.contributor.authorKok, Michael Edward
dc.date.accessioned2015-10-29T05:30:16Z
dc.date.available2015-10-29T05:30:16Z
dc.date.issued2015-02
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11660/1479
dc.description.abstractEnglish: South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 signalled a fundamental shift in the country’s social environment. The institutionalized racism that once subjugated the Black majority during apartheid gave way to legislature that aims to bring South Africa into a wholly new era of egalitarianism, the most striking result of which has been the steady influx of young Black people achieving upward mobility and making the transition into the middle- and upper-classes. The aim of this study is to conduct a phenomenological exploration into young Black South Africans’ lived experiences of upward mobility (the transition from a lower to a higher social class) with the express purpose of understanding how they construct their identities, both subjectively and in their interactions with others. Although there has been considerable interest in South Africa’s Black Diamonds and Buppies (as upwardly mobile Black people are often referred to), academic work on the upward mobility of Black people has largely been limited to quantitative studies in the field of economics and market research. This study thus attempts to fill a gap in the academic literature by offering insight into young Black South Africans’ subjective experiences of upward mobility and identity navigation. The foundation of this study is guided by the philosophical principles of interpretive research. As such, the aim is not to provide an objective explanation of the research participants’ experiences, but to explore how they perceive various experiences from their own unique perspectives. The research participants for this study are comprised of young, Black South Africans (between the ages of 18 and 30) who reside in the Bloemfontein area of Central South Africa. They are also specifically chosen to participate in this study because they have acquired professional occupations through educational attainment, which has placed them in a social position that is comparatively higher in the social hierarchy than that of their parents. The data for this study is collected by way of one-one-one interviews and a focus group discussion. The ultimate aim of the data collection is to obtain data that gets as close as possible to providing a first-hand account of the participants’ experiences with upward mobility and identity. This study therefore makes use of a narrative-centred approach to research, and the research participants’ stories are analysed according to an analytical framework known as the narrative practice approach. Rather than focusing purely on the content of the research participants’ stories, the narrative practice approach also focuses this study’s attention on how they tell their stories. The findings presented in this study touch upon numerous aspects of young Black South Africans’ lived experiences of upward mobility and identity, the most notable of which relate to the intersection of race and class in their interaction with others. Having made the transition from a lower social class that has historically been occupied by Blacks, into a higher social class that has historically been reserved for Whites, the research participants’ narratives richly illustrate how the accomplishment of upward social mobility is intrinsically affected by the everyday social process of identity construction and the unequal distribution of economic and cultural capital. As the dissertation’s findings suggest, the transition into a higher social class is not without its hardships. Apart from overcoming the more recognizable economic obstacles inherent in achieving upward mobility, the research participants’ narratives also shed light on transcending more implicit challenges to achieving upward mobility, such as cultural biases towards education, the lack of cultural knowledge needed to attend university, as well as the lack of cultural knowledge required to occupy a higher social class. More specific to the issue of identity construction, the research participants’ narratives indicate that because of their achievements, they are identified as members of a higher social class, both by people in their social class of origin, and by those in their achieved social class. However, the salience of race in South African society, coupled with the fact that South Africa’s class structure has invariably been shaped by race politics, means that the research participants find themselves in a unique position that requires them to successfully negotiate the presence of two separate and often contrasting identities. On the one hand, is an identity shaped by African traditions and culture within the lower class, and on the other hand, is a higher class identity that requires adherence to White South African culture if the participants are to fit in with those in their achieved social class.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAfrikaans: Suid-Afrika se eerste demokratiese verkiesing gedurende 1994 het ‘n fundamentele verskuiwing meegebring wat betref die land se sosiale omgewing. Die ingewortelde rassisme wat voorheen die Swart meerderheid gedurende apartheid in onderdrukking gehou het, het plek gemaak vir wetgewing wat ten doel het om Suid- Afrika in ‘n gehele nuwe tydvak van gelykheid binne te neem. Die mees merkwaardige uitvloeisel hiervan was die bestendige toevoeging van jong Swart mense wat opwaarts beweeg het in die oorgang tot middel- en hoërklasse. Die doel van hierdie studie is om ‘n fenomenologiese ondersoek in te stel na jong Swart Suid-Afrikaners se beleefde ervaringe van opwaartse mobiliteit (die oorgang van ‘n laer- tot ‘n hoër sosiale klas) met die uitsluitlike doel om te verstaan hoe hulle dit persoonlik ervaar en hoe dit hulle identiteit rig, beide met betrekking tot hulle subjektiewe belewenis en hulle interaksies met andere. Hoewel daar ‘n beduidende belangstelling in Suid-Afrika se “ Swart Diamante” en “Buppies” (soos wat daar gereeld na Swart opwaarts mobiele mense verwys word), is akademiese werk oor hierdie groep opkomende Swart mense grotendeels beperk tot kwantitatiewe studies in die ekonomie en in marknavorsing. Hierdie studie prober derhalwe om die gaping te vul in die akademiese literatuur deur insig te bied oor hierdie jong Swart Suid-Afrikaners se subjektiewe ondervindings van opwaartse mobiliteit en persoonlike ontwikkeling. Die grondslag van hierdie studie word gelê deur filosofiese beginsels van interpretatiewe navorsing. As sodanig is die bedoeling nie om ‘n objektiewe verduideliking van die deelnemers aan die navorsing se ondervindings weer te gee nie, maar om ondersoek in te stel oor hoe hulle sekere ondervindinge ervaar het vanuit hulle eie unieke gesigspunte. Die deelnemers aan die navorsing vir hierdie studie is saamgestel uit jong, Swart Suid-Afrikaners (tussen die ouderdomme van 18 tot 30) wat in die Bloemfontein-omgewing van Sentraal Suid Afrika woonagtig is. Hulle is ook spesifiek gekies om aan hierdie studie deel te neem aangesien hulle profesionele beroepe bekom het deur hulle opvoedkundige bekwaamheid, wat hulle in ‘n sosiale posisie plaas wat vergelykenderwys hoër is as die sosiale posisie van hulle ouers. Die inligting vir hierdie studie is bekom deur persoonlike onderhoude en gefokusde groepbesprekings. Die uiteindelike doel met hierdie inligting is om begrip te bekom en om so na as moontlik te kom aan ‘n eerstehandse weergawe van die deelnemers se ondervindings van opwaartse mobiliteit en identiteit. Hierdie studie maak derhalwe gebruik van ‘n verhalende (narratiewe) benadering tot navorsing en die navorsingsdeelnemers se stories word ontleed ooreenkomstig ‘n ontledingsraamwerk wat bekend staan as die narratiewe benadering. Eerder as om suiwer te fokus op die inhoud van die navorsingsdeelnemers se stories, fokus die narratiewe benadering ook op hoe hulle hul stories vertel. Die bevindinge soos aangebied in hierdie studie raak aan talle aspekte van jong Swart Suid-Afrikaners se lewenservaringe van betreffende opwaartse mobiliteit en persoonlike ontwikkeling, waarvan die mees vernaamste verband hou met die raakpunte tussen ras en klas met betrekking tot hulle interaksie met ander. Die navorsingsdeelnemers se ondervindinge illustreer belangrike aspekte in die voortdurende ontwikkeling van Suid-Afrika se groeinde demokrasie, soos byvoorbeeld onderliggende tussen-groepverhoudings, rassisme en armoede.af
dc.language.isoenen_ZA
dc.publisherUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA
dc.subjectInterpretivismen_ZA
dc.subjectPhenomenologyen_ZA
dc.subjectUpward mobilityen_ZA
dc.subjectClassen_ZA
dc.subjectRaceen_ZA
dc.subjectIdentityen_ZA
dc.subjectInstitutional orderen_ZA
dc.subjectInteraction orderen_ZA
dc.subjectIndividual orderen_ZA
dc.subjectNarrative practice approachen_ZA
dc.subjectDissertation (M.A. (Sociology))--University of the Free State, 2015en_ZA
dc.titleYoung and upwardly mobile: voices from historically disadvantaged groupsen_ZA
dc.typeDissertationen_ZA
dc.rights.holderUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA


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