“This dialogue thing”: an analysis of narratives of black and white women living in south africa engaged in sustained dialogue

Mpofu, Zikhona (2019-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research is based on a case study of a group of black and white women engaged in sustained dialogue to gain an intimate understanding of what happens in cross-racial dialogue within this group. The purpose of the research is to identify the factors and processes involved in cross-racial conversations that facilitated or hindered transformation in the group. The research is designed as an autoethnographic study and narrated through the researcher’s experiences as a member of the group. Semi-structured focus groups were conducted to follow the group’s journey over time, and their understanding of their experiences. Data is analysed using thematic analysis through an autoethnographic lens. This allowed the research to be a co-constructed meaning-making process between the researcher in her dual position as researcher and member of the group, and the participants. The findings of this study reveal that the process of a crisis is an opportunity for deepening cross-racial dialogue work. Furthermore, findings reveal that the avoidance of crisis may create a false sense of harmonious intergroup relations. The process of overcoming the impasse of a crisis can lead to stronger, healthier and more intimate interracial friendships. In addition, findings reveal that safe spaces in intergroup dialogue translate to safe spaces for whiteness, and power imbalances to continue unexamined.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing is gebaseer op 'n gevallestudie van ‘n groep swart en wit vroue betrokke in ‘n volgehoue dialoog proses. Die doel van die studie is om ‘n dieper begrip te kry van wat gebeur in gesprekke tussen wit en swart vroue in die groep. Die navorsing identifiseer die faktore en prosesse betrokke by inter-ras gesprekke wat transformasie in die groep vergemaklik of belemmer het. Die navorsing is ontwerp as ‘n auto-etnografiese studie vertel deur die navorser se eie ervarings as lid van die groep. Semi-gestruktureerde fokusgroepe volg die groep se begrip van hulle ervarings oor ‘n tydperk van gesprekvoering. Die data word tematies ontleed deur ‘n outo-etnografiese lens. Dié lens maak dit moontlik om die proses van ko-konstruksie van betekenis tussen die navorser, in haar tweeledige posisie as navorser en lid van die groep, en die deelnemers te ontleed. Die bevindings van hierdie studie toon dat 'n krisis in gespreksprosesse 'n geleentheid is om die werk van inter-ras dialoog te verdiep. Verder bevind die studie dat die vermyding van krisisse in inter-ras dialoog 'n vals sin van harmonie in intergroepverhoudinge kan skep. Die proses om die impasse van 'n krisis te oorkom, maak sterker, gesonder en en meer intieme inter-ras vriendskappe en verhoudings moontlik. Daarbenewens vind die studie dat sogenaamde veilige ruimtes in inter-ras dialoog neerkom op veilige ruimtes vir wit deelnemers, en dat dit nie ‘n ruimte skep om die dieper wanbalans in mag tussen wit en swart deelnemers te ondersoek nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105915
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