The educational motivations and strategies of black middle-class parents in predominantly white schools in post-apartheid South Africa
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This research explores how black middle-class parents in white-dominant schools utilise their agency in pursuit of quality education for their children in the post-apartheid era. Specifically, the study interrogates the ways in which these black parents handle critical racial incidents that affect their children in post-apartheid schools. It therefore also examines the extent to which racial integration has succeeded in white-dominant schools where black parents constitute a racial minority. Drawing on clinical interviews with 19 black parents, the research focuses on Parental Agency to explore the psychological processes involved in parental decision-making and the intersections of race, class and ethnicity in making those decisions. Furthermore, the research offers a straddling of disciplines seldom undertaken in other studies on black middle-class parents. The personal interests and motives of each parent are explored, as well as how their actions are consistent with or contradictory to those of other parents. Finally, this study examines how parental decision positions them in their ability and effectiveness in advocating for their children when critical racial incidents, which affect their children, occur within these schools. The findings indicate that complex patterns of inclusion/exclusion are not simply a result of school actions on black parents and their children; it is also a consequence of the active decisions made, or not made, by parents within white-dominant schools.
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