The badge, the blazer and those who came before us: a sociological study on hazing in former model C all-boys schools in the Eastern Cape

Gobodo, Bapiwe (2022-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch Unviersity, 2022.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study seeks to explore how seven black men, 18-25 years of age, who have attended all-boys ex-model C schools talk about their understanding and experiences of hazing and what their understanding and experiences reveal about masculinities and cultural heteronormativity in South Africa. This study aims to understand the institutional culture of boys’ high schools and the factors that inform, produce, and reproduce heteronormative culture. This study used a retrospective ethnographic method of inquiry to explore participants’ memories of their experiences and perceptions about the initiation/hazing they were subjected to during their school years. As points of entry into the extensive and broad theoretical discussions, I discuss hazing in sports, the institutional culture of the schools, heteronormative ideals that have shaped the narratives around hazing in boys schools, dynamics of schools, as well as the racial issues that exist within these institutions. This demonstrates how the issue of hazing is a systematic issue that relies heavily on the reproduction of systems based on values and ideals passed down in the schooling system. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the interviews. The findings highlight the ambivalent feelings many participants felt towards their respective institutions and how they spoke about these environments and their experiences while attending them. It was clear that while the participants had viewed some of their experiences as positive, they remained critical of the abuse and marginalisation experienced. The ambivalent responses helped the participants become cognisant of the deeper underlying issues within some of their experiences. The danger inherent in these hazing practices is that they often go unquestioned – participants seemed to pass on the tradition without reflecting on why they participated in such practices and their effects. This study concludes by arguing that a combination of hegemonic masculinity ideals and attending a single-sex school with unchallenged traditions make young men who are new members of these schools more susceptible to the pressures of taking part in hazing practices. This study also contends that such practices are toxic to educational settings and detrimental to social cohesion and social justice. They create an environment of fear and hostility, in addition to fostering unbalanced scales of peer-to-peer “authority” and control.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie poog om te verken hoe sewe swart mans, 18-25 jaar oud, wat al-seuns oud-model C skole bygewoon het, praat oor hul begrip en ervarings van waas en wat hul begrip en ervarings openbaar oor manlikheid en kulturele heteronormatiwiteit in Suid Afrika. Hierdie studie het ten doel om die institusionele kultuur van hoerskole vir seuns te verstaan en die faktore wat heteronormatiewe kultuur inlig, produseer en weergee. Hierdie studie het 'n retrospektiewe etnografiese metode van ondersoek gebruik om deelnemers se herinneringe van hul ervarings en persepsies oor die ontgroening/hazing waaraan hulle gedurende hul skooljare onderwerp is, te verken. As toegangspunte tot die uitgebreide en bree teoretiese besprekings bespreek ek waasvorming in sport, die institusionele kultuur van die skole, heteronormatiewe ideale wat die narratiewe rondom waasvorming in seunskole gevorm het, dinamika van skole, asook die rassekwessies wat bestaan binne hierdie instellings. Dit demonstreer hoe die kwessie van waas 'n sistematiese kwessie is wat sterk staatmaak op die reproduksie van stelsels gebaseer op waardes en ideale wat in die skoolstelsel oorgedra is. Tematiese analise is gebruik om die onderhoude te ontleed. Die bevindinge beklemtoon die ambivalente gevoelens wat baie deelnemers teenoor hul onderskeie instellings gevoel het en hoe hulle oor hierdie omgewings en hul ervarings gepraat het terwyl hulle dit bygewoon het. Dit was duidelik dat hoewel die deelnemers sommige van hul ervarings as positief beskou het, hulle krities gebly het oor die mishandeling en marginalisering wat ervaar is. Die ambivalente response het die deelnemers gehelp om bewus te word van die dieper onderliggende kwessies binne sommige van hul ervarings. Die gevaar inherent aan hierdie verduisteringspraktyke is dat dit dikwels onbetwisbaar bly – dit het gelyk of deelnemers die tradisie oorgedra het sonder om na te dink oor hoekom hulle aan sulke praktyke en die uitwerking daarvan deelgeneem het. Hierdie studie sluit af deur te argumenteer dat 'n kombinasie van hegemoniese manlikheidsideale en die bywoning van 'n enkelgeslagskool met onbetwiste tradisies jong mans wat nuwe lede van hierdie skole is, meer vatbaar maak vir die druk van deelname aan waaspraktyke. Hierdie studie voer ook aan dat sulke praktyke giftig is vir opvoedkundige omgewings en nadelig vir sosiale kohesie en sosiale geregtigheid. Hulle skep 'n omgewing van vrees en vyandigheid, benewens die bevordering van ongebalanseerde skale van eweknie-"gesag" en beheer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/124713
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