Class, race and locus of control in democratic South Africa

Stander, Genevieve Minota (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Rotter’s (1966) locus of control (LOC) is, fundamentally, a theory pertaining to individuals’ perceptions of personal control and their appraisal of the contingency of reinforcements in life. An individual may feel as though he/ she has either no control (external LOC) or ample control (internal LOC) over reinforcements. Due to its expediency, the locus of control construct has garnered much attention since it was first introduced to academia in the late 1960s. While originally positioned within Social Learning Theory, the notion of loci of control has since been appropriated into academic fields such as Medicine and Sociology. This particular study now brings the theory of LOC into the realm of Political Science. Employing World Values Survey (WVS) data collected over three time points (1995, 2001, and 2006) in South Africa; this longitudinal study establishes whether or not self-reported class and/ or race influence LOC by measuring the relationship between these three variables. The extent to which any relationships may be significant is also examined. The data analyses showed that the LOC of South Africans has steadily increased (become more internalised) from 1995 to 2006, and that a significant interaction effect occurs between race and class on LOC in South Africa. It was likewise discovered that class and LOC were highly correlated with each other – the self-reported Lower Class had a notably lower LOC compared to the relatively high LOC of the self-reported Upper Class. It is suggested that improved education levels and social security benefits may have a role in improving individuals’ LOC, especially in the South African context. The results of this study uncover future research avenues into class analyses, particularly studies that seek to understand the psychological dimensions of self-reported class or the psychological antecedents of class mobility.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Rotter (1966) se lokus van beheer (LVB) is, fundamenteel, ‘n teorie wat betrekking het tot individueë se persepsies van persoonlike beheer en die waarde wat hul heg aan gebeurlikhede waar versterkings hul voordoen in hul lewens. ‘n Individu mag voel asof hy/sy geen beheer het nie (eksterne LVB) of genoegsame beheer het (interne LVB) oor versterkings. As gevolg van die bruikbaarheid van die term, geniet die lokus van beheer toenemend aandag sedert die bekendstelling daarvan aan academici in die laat 1960s. Die term was aanvanklik geposisioneer in Sosiale Leer Teorie, maar die idee van lokusse van beheer is ook later aangewend in Sosiologiese en Mediese studies. Hierdie studie bring nou die teorie van LVB na Politieke Wetenskap. World Values Study (WVS) data wat versamel is tydens drie opeenvolgende jare (1995, 2001 en 2006) in Suid-Afrika is aangewend as deel van hierdie longitudinale studie om te bepaal of self-geidentifiseerde klas en/of ras ‘n impak het op LVB. Die verhoudinge van hierdie drie veranderlikes, sowel as die beduidendheid van hierdie verhoudings, is ondersoek. Die data analise toon dat die LVB van Suid-Afrikaners bestendig vermeerder het (meer geinternaliseer het) vanaf 1995 tot en met 2006, en dat ‘n noemenswaardige interaksie effek voorkom tussen ras en klas en hul impak op LVB in die Suid-Afrikaanse geval. Daar is eweneens gevind dat klas en LVB hoogs gekorrileerd is vir die aangeduide periode – die self-geidentifiseerde Laer Klas het merkbaar laer LVB in vergelyking met die relatiewe hoë LVB van die self-geidentifiseerde Hoër Klas. Dit word voorgestel dat verbeterde opvoeding vlakke en welsyns voordele ‘n rol speel in die verbetering van individueë se LVB, veral in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Die bevinding van hierdie studie kan gebruik word om toekomstige navorsing met betrekking tot klasverskille te begrond, vernaam studies wat sielkundige dimensies van self-geidentifiseerde klasgroep of die sielkundige bepalers van klas mobiliteit ondersoek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86528
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