Narratives of belonging amongst students at a historically white university

Brown, Lauren Natalie (2016-12)

Thesis (MEdPsych) --Stellenbosch University, 2016

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : This thesis is about diversity and inclusion at a historically white institution (HWI) in South Africa. It is a qualitative, exploratory study that attempts to garner rich and unique descriptions about the individual student's sense of belonging at an HWI. Researchers claim that racism and other issues related to inclusion continue to be barriers students must negotiate in the higher education (HE) context. However, universities have made and continue to make significant effort to ensure that previously disadvantaged students have access to learning. This discrepancy highlights the importance of critical study into what students are actually experiencing on campus because clearly, something is amiss. My aim for this research process was to give students a voice in order for them to share their experiences on the campus of an HWI, and to ascertain whether students are feeling, at ground level, the institutional and structural changes the university has made to promote inclusion. I chose a phenomenological approach to frame my research. I conducted three focus groups at three residences at an HWI as a means to gather data and analysed this data using Yuval-Davis’ (2006) model of belonging. Significant findings revealed that residence traditions play an essential role in assisting marginalized students in forming a sense of belonging, and the use of Afrikaans continues to be a barrier for marginalized students and prevents them from feeling as if they belong in the residence community. The research is significant because it sheds light onto how students are negotiating issues related to diversity and inclusion in post-apartheid South Africa

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie tesis handel oor diversiteit en insluiting by 'n historiese-wit-instelling (HWI) in Suid-Afrika. Dit is 'n kwalitatiewe, verkennende studie wat poog om 'n ryk en unieke beskrywings van die gevoel van behoort van individuele studente weer te gee. Navorsers beweer dat rassisme en ander kwessies, wat verband hou met insluiting, blyk steeds hindernisse vir studente in die hoër onderwys (HO) konteks te wees. Tog wend universiteite pogings aan om ‘n beduidende verskil te maak en seker te maak dat voorheen benadeelde studente toegang tot opvoeding het. Dit belangrik om ‘n kritiese ondersoek in te stel na wat studente in werklikheid op die kampus ervaar, want dit wil voorkom of iets steeds skort. My doel vir hierdie navorsing was om vir studente 'n stem te gee sodat hulle hul ervarings van ‘n HWI kan deel en ook om vas te stel of die studente voel dat die universiteit op grondvlak genoegsame institisionele en strukturele veranderinge gemaak het om sodoende insluitingvan alle studente te bevorder.‘n Fenomenologiese benadering tot navorsing is gebruik. Data is ingevorder deur drie fokusgroepe by drie verskillende koshuise by ‘n HWI. Die data is geanaliseer deur Yuval-Davis (2006) se model van behoort te gebruik. Insiggewende bevindinge het getoon dat koshuistradisies 'n belangrike rol speel om gemarginaliseerde studente te ondersteun en ook dat die gebruik van Afrikaans steeds 'n hindernis vir gemarginaliseerde studente is wat hulle verhinder om ‘n gevoel van behoort, in die koshuis-gemeenskap, te vorm. Hierdie navorsing is belangrik omdat dit lig werp op hoe studente oor kwessies onderhandel wat verband hou met diversiteit en insluiting in'n post-apartheid Suid-Afrika.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100108
This item appears in the following collections: