Narrative Identities: Voices of the unemployed youth in a low-income community in South Africa

Dube-Addae, Thembelihle (2019-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Narrative identity refers to the stories we tell about who we are and how we have come to be who we are. This study explores the context, content, key constructs and discourses of the narrative identities of 10 unemployed young people of Kayamandi accessed through a participatory action research process. There is a dearth of studies on narrative identity in low income, urban contexts and especially with unemployed young people. This study aims to inform the understanding of narrative identity in an under-researched context vis-a-vis the contemporary research base. Narratives are unique, individual and subjective thus a qualitative, interpretivist research approach was adopted. Narrative Inquiry and Participatory Action Research were the primary methodologies employed in the study whilst social constructionism served as the theoretical framework. Ten in-depth life story interviews were conducted with unemployed youth followed by a series of group discussions. The data were analysed using Template Analysis and Narrative Analysis. The initial, a priori themes emanating from the template analysis were categorised using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory and these themes were then further analysed using narrative analysis into salient discourses. Agency, communion and meaning-making were the narrative themes that defined the youth’s narrative identities. The grand narratives that emerged were: how poverty fuels unemployment; what it means to be a responsible man/woman; the double edge of education; the importance of (social) support, and the connection between social support and pregnancy. Further analysis revealed the manifestation of ubuntu; freedom of expression; the differences in engagement with unemployment by young men and women; the enduring impact of racism, and the salience of capitalist principles. The dissertation concludes with a proposed intervention framework that appreciates the heterogeneity of unemployed youth and their experiences.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Narratiewe identiteit verwys na die stories wat ons vertel van wie ons is en hoe ons gekom het waar ons is. Hierdie studie verken die konteks, inhoud, sleutelkonstrukte en diskoerse van die narratiewe identiteite van 10 werklose jongmense van Kayamandi waarby toegang verkry was deur 'n deelnemende aksie navorsingsproses. Daar is 'n gebrek aan studies oor narratiewe identiteit in lae inkomste, stedelike kontekste en werklose jong mense. Hierdie studie beoog om die begrip van narratiewe identiteit in 'n onder-nagevorsde konteks in verband met die kontemporêre navorsingsbasis in te lig. Narratiewe is uniek, individueel en subjektief, dus 'n kwalitatiewe, interpretatiewe navorsings benadering is aangeneem. Narratiewe Ondersoek en Deelnemende Aksie Navorsing was die primêre metodologieë wat in die studie gebruik is, terwyl sosiale konstruksionalisme gedien het as die teoretiese raamwerk. Tien in-diepte lewensverhaal onderhoude was uitgevoer met werklose jeug, gevolg deur 'n reeks groepbesprekings. Die data is geanaliseer met behulp van Templaat Analise en Narratiewe Analise. Die aanvanklike temas wat uit die narratiewe analise voortspruit, is gekategoriseer met behulp van Bronfenbrenner se ekologiese sisteemteorie en hierdie temas was toe verder ontleed met behulp van die narratiewe analise. Behulpsaamheid, eenheid en betekenismaking was die verhaal temas wat die jeug se narratiewe identiteite beskryf het. Die groot diskoerse wat na vore gekom het, was: hoe armoede werkloosheid aanspoor; wat dit beteken om 'n verantwoordelike man / vrou te wees; die dubbele kante van onderwys; die belangrikheid van (sosiale) ondersteuning, en die verband tussen sosiale ondersteuning en swangerskap. Verder het die diskoerse die manifestasie van ubuntu geopenbaar; vryheid van spraak; die verskille in die betrokkenheid by werkloosheid deur jong mans en vrouens; die volgehoue impak van rassisme, en die volharding van die kapitalistiese beginsels. Die proefskrif sluit af met 'n voorgestelde intervensie raamwerk wat die heterogeniteit van werklose jongmense en hul ervarings waardeer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107013
This item appears in the following collections: