The Humanities and Social Sciences in SA : crisis or cause for concern?

Mouton, Johann (2011-11-07)

CITATION: Mouton, J. 2011. The Humanities and Social Sciences in SA : crisis or cause for concern? South African Journal of Science, 107(11/12), Art. #961, doi:10.4102/sajs.v107i11/12.961.

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The publication of two high-level reports on the state of the Humanities in South Africa in recent months1,2 is in itself a historic event. If scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) had been concerned about the lack of appreciation and recognition by the government and senior decision-makers in the science system for their fields and disciplines, just the fact that these reports have been commissioned and published should go some way to allaying any fears of their imminent ‘demise’. But of course the rationale behind these two studies is to be found in more serious concerns by scholars in these fields: that there are systematic biases in the national science and higher education system which explicitly (and sometimes not so explicitly) constrain, weaken and disadvantage the HSS. These concerns relate to matters of funding, publication support, expenditure on R&D, reward systems and many other key components of these systems.

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