When art informs : a case study to negotiate social stereotypes and stigmas through art at Taung Junior Secondary School

Moahi, Donlisha (2015-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: While every Botswana national can claim to be a citizen legally within the framework of the modern nation-state, some (minority groups in the main) are perceived by others (among the majority Tswana groups especially), as less authentic nationals or citizens. There is a hierarchy of citizenship fostered by political, economic, social and cultural inequalities, such that it makes some individuals and groups much more able to claim and articulate their rights than others. Ethnic identities seem stronger than ‘national identities’ as they work at the very macro level and on an immediate and daily basis. Thus the multicultural and linguistic diversity of Taung compels us to view every group as heterogeneously unique and important in its own ways, since students become marginalised as a result of individual circumstances, by being members of historically oppressed social groups. The main aim of this study was to explore visual art as a learning platform to negotiate social and cultural meanings and inform understandings of self. A qualitative approach towards the study was considered the most suitable way for conducting the research. An interpretive analysis was used to gain insight into how students made sense of their experiences and the significance of art as a platform to negotiate stigmas and stereotypes in class and school. Using the case study drawn from Taung Junior Secondary School comprising of twelve students from different ethnic groups, two major themes of difference and discrimination were identified. The sub-theme discussed under difference includes sub themes race, ethnicity and nationality, and language; while stereotyping and stigma, feelings of discomfort and feeling outcast, and Othering and marginalisation were discussed under the theme discrimination. My study revealed that art can be an especially effective catalyst for developing a critical awareness of issues of race, immigration, difference, and privilege. Art practices can become a platform for the negotiation and construction of meaning and lobby for removing the historic inequalities and injustices created by a stratified society. For this reason, it is important to understand culture and cultural diversity because culture provides beliefs, values, and the patterns that give meaning and structure to life. It enables individuals within the multiple social groups of which they are a part to function effectively in their social and cultural environments, which are constantly changing. Groups try to maintain social hierarchies and individuals maintain their position within such hierarchies by excluding others, to deny difference and try and enforce homogeneity and reproduce current social relations. As such if forces such as, differences in race, culture, gender, language, and religion are well understood, the students will engage in the process of identifying ways to manage them to shape their own educational practices.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Terwyl elke Botswana burger wetlik aanspraak kan maak op burgerskap binne die raamwerk van die moderne volkstaat, word sommige (hoofsaaklik minderheidsgroepe) deur ander (veral Tswana groepe) as minder egte burgers beskou. Daar bestaan ‘n hierargie van burgerskap wat deur politieke, ekonomiese, sosiale en kulturele ongelykhede bevorder word; tot die mate dat sommige individue en groepe meer geredelik hulle regte kan verwoord as ander. Etniese identiteite blyk sterker te wees as ‘nasionale identiteite’ omdat dat dit op makrovlak funksioneer sowel as op ‘n onmiddellike en daaglikse basis. Gevolglik dring die multikulturele en linguistiese diversiteit van Taung ons om elke groep as heterogeen uniek en belangrik op sy eie manier te beskou, aangesien studente gemarginaliseerd raak weens individuele omstandighede, deurdat hulle lede van geskiedkundigonderdrukte sosiale groepe is. Die hoofdoel van hierdie studie was om ondersoek in te stel na die visuele kunste as ‘n leerplatform om oor sosiale en kulturele betekenisse te onderhandel en selfbeskouings toe te lig. Daar is besluit dat ‘n kwalitatiewe benadering tot die studie die mees geskikte manier is om die navorsing uit te voer. ‘n Verklarende analise is gevolg om insig te verkry ten opsigte van hoe studente sin maak uit hulle ervarings en die betekenisvolheid van kuns as ‘n platform om oor stigmas en stereotipes in die klas en skool te onderhandel. Deur van Taung Junior Sekondêre Skool, met twaalf studente van verskillende etniese groepe, as gevallestudie gebruik te maak, is twee hooftemas, nl verskil en diskriminasie, geidentifiseer. Die subtemas wat onder verskil bespreek word, sluit ras, etnisiteit en burgerskap en taal in; terwyl stereotipering en stigma, gevoelens van ongemak en verwerping en ‘Othering’ en marginalisering onder die tema diskriminasie bespreek word. My studie het getoon dat kuns ‘n besonder effektiewe katalisator is vir die ontwikkeling van ‘n kritiese bewustheid ten opsigte van kwessies soos ras, immigrasie, verskil en voorreg. Kunspraktyke kan ‘n platform word vir die onderhandeling en konstruksie van betekenis en selfs druk uitoefen ten opsigte van die opheffing van historiese ongelykhede en ongeregtighede wat deur ‘n gestratifiseerde samelewing geskep is. Dit is vir hierdie rede belangrik om kultuur en kulturele diversiteit te verstaan omdat kultuur die oortuigings, waardes en die patrone voorsien wat betekenis en struktuur aan die lewe gee. Dit gee vir individue binne die verskeie sosiale groepe waarvan hulle deel vorm, die vermoë om effektief in hul sosiale en kulturele omgewings, wat deurlopend verander, te funksioneer. Groepe poog om sosiale hierargië te handhaaf en individue handhaaf op hulle beurt hul posisie binne hierdie hierargië deur ander uit te sluit, verskille te ontken en homogeniteit af te dwing en huidige sosiale verhoudings te herproduseer. Indien daar ‘n goeie begrip is van magte, soos verskille in ras, kultuur, geslag, taal en godsdiens, sal studente betrokke raak by die proses om maniere te identifiseer om dit te bestuur en sodoende hule eie opvoedkundige praktyke te vorm.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96919
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