Masters Degrees (Sociology and Social Anthropology)

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    Immigrant labour: Employment of Zimbabweans as farmworkers in Ceres District, South Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Chirima, Wilson; Vorster, Jan; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study seeks to understand the employment of Zimbabwean farmworkers on a fruit producing farm in Ceres District in the Western Cape Province of South Africa from the side of the farm management and the employees. Semi-structured interviews and observations were used to examine how Zimbabwean farmworkers secured employment on Stone farm in Ceres in a context of an oversupply of South African farmworkers in the area. More so, the study sought to understand how Zimbabweans are experiencing labour conditions on farms and farmers’ considerations regarding the employment and housing of Zimbabweans on Stone Farm. The study draws on insights from rational choice theory, social network theory, Foucault’s notion of power and Wolpe’s writings on capitalism to make sense of the employment of Zimbabweans on Stone farm. This study established that initially Zimbabweans found employment on the farm because of positive perceptions by farm management of these workers during a time of labour unrest amongst South African workers in the area. The workers that were first employed by the farm were already working on farms elsewhere and acquired that employment mostly through their networks. Zimbabweans joining the farm later got it through their networks on the farm. Even farm management use the networks of these workers to employ more Zimbabweans since they are perceived as hard-working labour as compared to their South African counterparts. This practice of recruitment also allows farm management larger control over the workers as many are relatives. Stone Farm is one of the few farms in the district close to town that is still providing accommodation to farmworkers on the farm. Although Zimbabwean workers experience this housing as cheaper and safer than in town, they were not fully happy with the nature of housing because it is overcrowded and there is a lack of individual privacy. Workers at Stone Farm do not earn enough to take care of themselves and their families back home. They are also experiencing discrimination in the workplace from fellow South African workers and farm management, mainly through language (Afrikaans) and race. They also do not enjoy the same protection under the law as they may be undocumented or do not have the necessary work permits. This leaves them more vulnerable than South African workers. The conclusion reached is that the employment of Zimbabweans as farm workers in Ceres, is the perpetual creation of a docile labour force on the farms. A recommendation of the study is that undocumented workers and workers without work permits should receive as far as possible the same coverage and treatment as South African workers by farm management. The UN, ILO, NGOs, and other human rights organisations should have this complex issue high on their agendas to work towards a more equal world and to address the dire political and economic situation in sender countries. Farms should follow a language policy that will cater better for language diversity of its workforce. Both management and workers should be trained how to handle diversity issues in the workplace. More studies are needed on the employment of workers from other countries by commercial farms in South Africa because the extent and implications for both foreign and local workers are unknown.
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    Teaching environmentality: An ethnographic study of an aquarium’s environmental lessons in Cape Town, South Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-03) Sanderson, Dayni; Van Wyk, Ilana; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this thesis, I focus an ethnographic lens on the non-profit arm of one of Cape Town’s most iconic institutions, the Two Oceans Aquarium (TOA). Like a number of other aquariums and zoos across the world, the TOA frames itself primarily as a conservation and education organisation. Based on six months of fieldwork at the Aquarium’s Education Foundation and inspired by critical approaches in anthropology, this thesis interrogates the narrative and programmatic content of this framing and its imprint on a wider “witnessing public” (Chua, 2018:a). In particular, I analyse the TOA’s online mediascape and explore the various environmental classes that the Foundation offered to school children; its on-site, week-long holiday Smart Living programme and its hour-long “outreach” classes in disadvantaged areas of the City. I also analyse the motivation letters of children who applied for the TOA’s free holiday courses. My research shows that the TOA was haunted by the class and racial legacies of local (and international) conservation. I argue that in its embrace of mainstream environmentalism, the TOA unintentionally depoliticised the environmental crisis to offer solutions that trumpeted individualised new forms of consumption that either excluded poor people or framed them as environmental villains. This middle-class, prescriptive environmentalism thus reproduced messages that mapped environmental destruction onto race and class. Through the working of its hidden curriculum, the TOA’s lessons to school children repeated this message and shaped the ways in which a new generation related to the environment and “nature”; a relationship in which the privileged retained a proprietary interest in conservation, while disadvantaged children internalised their supposed culpability in environmental collapse. As I show in this thesis, the TOA was not alone in doing this work; as the children’s letters to the TOA attested, most of them had been exposed to similar messages from a much wider world of hegemonic middle-class environmentalism.
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    Black in white: The private and public lives of black alums in Cape Town private schools
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Mujulizi, Mukisa; Dubbeld, Bernard; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the private and public lives of Black alums in Cape Town private schools. The thesis is interested in understanding whether elite schools are truly becoming more inclusive in 21ˢᵗ century South Africa, or if their attempt to reproduce elite status has meant the transmission of “Whiteness” and the alienation of Black students. I begin by exploring the history of education in South Africa and how elite schooling is rooted to this history in such a way that affects 21ˢᵗ century Black students who attend these schools. I show how Whiteness emerges in this history of elite schooling, and continues to be experienced in contemporary post-apartheid South Africa, even if its meaning may not be fixed or constant. Whiteness takes the form it does because private schools, like the ones explored in this thesis, seek to emulate elite schools that are tied to the British colony. In this pursuit of an ’eliteness’ a set of tones and codes emerge that schools nurture in their students, one that may produce alienation for Black students inside and outside of this space. I therefore look at the ways in which Black students have existed in these spaces that can often be quite hostile to their existence. I further theorise the class experience of students at these schools and try to establish how race and class might intersect at elite schools. I further show that queer students also face similar rigid structures within these schools that force them to interrogate their identities in such a way that cisgendered, heterosexual students do not. This thesis relied on a qualitative method of analysis, drawing on 10 interviews with Black alums of two private schools. I supplemented these data with some of my own experiences of one of the two private schools. This allowed me to recognise the relations and intersections between race, class, gender, and sexuality in these spaces which became the basis for my chapters.
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    Implications of teachers’ mental health and wellness on technology integration: A comparative study between two South African governmental schools
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Watling, Jessica Mary; Tayob, Shaheed; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The 21st century marks the rapid development of a technologically driven globalized society, where teachers face an ever-increasing pressure to keep up with new and evolving learning practices. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become increasingly implicit within the education system, where the successful integration of technology is largely dependent on teachers’ skills and motivations to integrate ICTs into their classroom practices. Although there has been noticeable attention from the South African government to ensure that schools are adequately equipped with the digital resources and infrastructure to keep-up with the developments of technology in education, the COVID-19 pandemic brought two important aspects to the fore – firstly, the unpreparedness of schools to navigate online learning, either due to a lack of resources or insufficient skills, and secondly, the need to acknowledge and support individuals affective moods and emotional distress. This paper therefore aims to bring these two aspects together in considering ways of positively influencing teachers’ abilities to integrate technology into their teaching practices, through supporting and developing their overall mental health and wellness, and therefore their professional development. Through the comparison of two schools – Rhenish and Cloetesville Primary - based in different socio-economic environments, this paper will explore how considerations for teachers’ mental wellness could positively impact their overall professional development, specifically in the realm of technology, and support teachers in adapting to the rapidly changing technological environments.
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    Party politics: An exploration of Cape Town queer nightlife and what it reveals about the politics of space and identification in post-apartheid South Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Meyer, Simonn; Dubbeld, Bernard; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis aims to examine the way in which space and identity are related and co-constructed, by utilizing Queer Nightlife as a lens through which spatiality and identity operate in post-apartheid South Africa. By exploring space and identity through the lens of Queer Nightlife spaces, this study also subsequently captured the utility and limitations of the Queer political project. This study focuses on Queer Nightlife spaces in Cape Town, and more specifically in Cape Town’s ‘Gay Village’, De Waterkant. Methodologically, this study made use of qualitative interviews with queer-identifying individuals between the ages of 18 to 40, along with critical ethnography that was centered on fieldwork expeditions to two Queer Nightlife spaces. Critical discourse analysis and Butler’s Theory of performativity were used to analyze findings and to investigate how queer performativity operates within the Queer Nightlife space. The argument this thesis makes, is that Queer, which is a radical and transformative politic, has shifted towards queer identity politics within the neoliberal, capitalist setting of Cape Town. The findings of this thesis illustrates that the utility and praxis of Queer Theory and Queer Politics is undermined when Queer is presented as a stable, universal identity. This thesis argues that Queer Nightlife spaces in Cape Town illustrate how this shift towards queer identity politics operates and highlights how the stable identity that is performed and celebrated in these spaces takes on a raced, gendered, and classed form that is centered on consumption and desire. This study is therefore a critical reflection on the operation of Queer politics in post-apartheid South Africa.