Commonwealth Youth and Development - Volume 11, Issue 1, 2013
Volume 11, Issue 1, 2013
Source: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 4 –21 (2013)More Less
Various contemporary South African studies highlight South Africa's current crisis regarding the high numbers of young men and women who, increasingly, are both the victims and perpetrators of violence in South Africa. Although South Africa's violent history underlines that neither exposure to violence nor youth criminal violence is new, especially for the poor, marginalised youth in South Africa, of real concern is the continuing prevalence of the socio-economic factors which expose such youth to family violence, community violence and youth gangs. These factors include unchanging apartheid-based structural inequality, poverty and unemployment and as inadequate schooling. Longstanding economic, racial and gender inequality and dysfunctional family dynamics are particularly implicated.
Against this backdrop, a significant degree of normalisation of violence is inevitable. While much normalisation of violence results from chronic, socially structured or institutional violence which is often hidden by more direct violence, normalised violence also includes a range of anti-social behaviour, early and regular exposure to violence in the family and community as well as cultural beliefs that legitimise violence.
This study explores how the conflict stories of a particular group of young, so-called 'at-risk' South African adults reflect this normalisation of violence and the resilience they negotiate. In addition to questionnaires to obtain a conflict profile of the participants, the study used narrative analysis to probe the deeper meaning of their stories with a view to highlighting the challenges that such young people in South Africa are currently facing.
Author Velisiwe GasaSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 22 –31 (2013)More Less
This paper describes a study of resilience and protective factors in learners who are raised in grandparent-headed families. Using targeted sampling to capture the diversity and range of this often neglected population, a study followed 20 learners from when they started schooling to the age of 25. This allowed identification of resilience and protective factors in learners exposed to challenging or disrupted family environments as they grew up. The findings reveal that these learners grew into competent, confident and caring young adults. None developed serious learning or behavioural problems in childhood or adolescence. They succeeded in school, managed home and social life well, and expressed a strong desire to take advantage of whatever opportunity came their way. However, resilience should be conceptualised as a process and as a process it is the product of an interaction between the individual and their social context. If it is produced by interaction it is potentially open to influence. There is thus a need to consider the protective factors that sustain resilience in learners who are raised in grandparent-headed families.
Author Lebogang MorodiSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 32 –43 (2013)More Less
South Africa is faced by diverse social ills marked by self-interests taking precedence over humanity. Soccer and education entities are significant agents of constructive growth and development in any country undergoing social, political and economic transitional phases. These instruments of nationbuilding are positioned in tackling misplaced interests of avarice and corruption impeding the country's prosperity. Soccer channels its audiences in behaving in accordance with the founding principles. The building of a changing society using soccer and education remains an essential component for peaceful co-existence in settings contaminated by racism, discrimination, xenophobia, violence, voracity, homophobia and human rights violations. This paper discusses the reconstruction and transformation of a divided society using soccer and education.
Author Solomon MakolaSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 44 –55 (2013)More Less
The study evaluated the efficacy of a sense-of-meaning intervention with a sample of adolescents and young adults. The participants included 47 high school learners and 22 university students from South Africa (age range 14 to 28 years, females made up 63.2%, majority (55%) were Sesotho-speaking). Data was collected on their sense of meaning regarding the intervention by means of the Purpose in Life Test (PIL) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II). In addition, qualitative data was collected on the participants' subjective experiences of the intervention. A one-group, pretest-posttest design was employed. The quantitative data was analysed with t-tests for paired samples. The qualitative data was analysed by means of themes. A sense-of-meaning intervention appears to result in significant improvements in levels of meaning and significant reduction of depressive symptoms among adolescents and young adults. When comparing the two groups, the young adults showed significantly higher meaning in life, and significantly lower depressive symptoms than the adolescents, before and after the intervention.
Source: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 56 –69 (2013)More Less
The phenomenon of child-headed households is complex and has profound implications for the well-being of the child. Such households disrupt family and community functioning and affect the rearing and development of the child, leaving them destitute. A quantitative and qualitative study was conducted to analyse the situation of child-headed households in South Africa. This article is based on one of the objectives, namely to explore and describe the psycho-social needs of children living in these households. Semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews were conducted. The findings were based on the needs to survive, to be accepted and to be able to break the cycle of poverty, marginalisation and stigmatisation. Orphaned children do not want to be separated from their siblings. Their most urgent needs relate to clothes, food, money, shelter and education. Extended families have been eroded and in many instances have no capacity to cope with more than their own survival. It is important that the different grants in terms of purpose, eligibility, accessibility, long-term sustainability, monitoring and strategies to address the consequences when eligibility for grants expire, be reviewed. Networks and communities of support are necessary to ensure psychological and social security and safety for children in child-headed households.
Author Alfred Rangarirai MusvotoSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 70 –77 (2013)More Less
This article analyses Lauren Liebenberg's novel The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam (2008). It argues that the text is narrated from a white Rhodesian girl child's perspective. The utilisation of the girl child's voice authorises an uncensored account of the colonial space - a version that is more revealing of the life in the colony than the adult Rhodesian narrative which is often self-censoring for the sake of political correctness. The article begins by examining the spaces occupied by the white Rhodesian girl child and how she narrates such locations and her representation of the colonial space in general. Later on, the discussion focuses on how a rigid and parochial adult Rhodesian memory affects the psyche and identity of the white Rhodesian youth.
Source: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 78 –86 (2013)More Less
Professional youth work is in most cases blurred and not acknowledged appropriately by policy and the powers that be. The demand for professionalism is increasing as investment in youth work is considered beneficial to holistic development and progress in South Africa and other Commonwealth countries. According to this paper, investing in the knowledge base and expertise of youth workers is imperative for professionalism in youth work. Youth work professionalism is critical and it is suggested that the role of continuous education and training, also known as lifelong learning, can lead to a professional recognition of youth workers and their work. Mere formal education resulting in a certificate is not enough for the professional development of youth work in a rapidly changing and globalised world of innovation and high technology. A review of the available literature was the main source of information for this paper. A library search was conducted and relevant information examined to provide the description and analysis of the various approaches to youth work professionalism. Professionalism in youth work through continuous education and training should produce the following distinctive qualities: acceptance of the moral and ethical responsibility inherent in youth work practice; promotion of the wellbeing of young persons and their families in a context of respect and collaboration; and valuing care of young people as essential for emotional growth, social competence, rehabilitation and treatment. There is a need to acknowledge the strengths arising from cultural and human diversity. Valuing individual uniqueness and family, community, culture and human diversity is integral to the developmental and intervention process. Advocating for the rights of youth and families promotes their contribution to nation-building and the development of society.
Author Khatija Bibi KhanSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 87 –101 (2013)More Less
In a powerful essay titled The Ideology of reconciliation: its effects on South African culture (2008), the late South African writer Lewis Nkosi perceptively noted that under apartheid a numerical minority took over literary production and transformed itself into a numerical majority. The effect of this takeover on South African cultural space was that a numerical majority (blacks) were then relegated to a position of a numerical minority in the power equation of cultural production. Although the racialised nature of literary production has continued in the post-1994 period, its new modes of expression are manifest within the black communities. Here, one notes that there are more black male writers than black woman writers. To compound the problem caused by literary imbalances among black communities, the works of the older generation of black South African writers' continue to dominate in universities. This has left the majority of the South Africa's youth without a recognised literary voice outside their communities. One young South African poet performer and cultural critic is Natalia Molebatsi, whose work has begun to be recognised nationally. The aim of this article is to explain the reasons for this recognition, and then analyse some works that appear in her poetry anthology, Sardo Dance (2009). In this article it is argued that Molebatsi's increasing creative visibility expands the cultural space within which previously, mainly, literary voices of old white and black writers were dominant.
Author Nontyatyambo Pearl DastileSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 102 –112 (2013)More Less
Drawing from in-depth interviews with girls incarcerated in a correctional centre, this paper exposes the subjective experiences that impinge on the access and progress of girls in educational settings. The author posits that these lived existential circumstances reveal that the micro and macro powers continue to be symbolic of the colonial and apartheid structures which perpetuated the gendered inequalities and disparities between girls' and boys' access to education. From the narrative subjective experiences of girls, the paper reveals the continuing economic marginalisation, cultural constraints as well as teenage pregnancies that force girls to drop out of school, remain domesticated and resort to criminality. The narratives further reveal the ambiguities between policy documents and practices inherent in government structures that promise to redress the gender inequalities and practices in South Africa. The paper seeks to contribute to policy reformulation by making the case that gender does matter, and that gender-blind or neutral policies as they persist should be in line with the pan-African ethos that serves to conjoin the existential realities with the policy formulations in order to redress the gendered impact of colonial legacies within the South African context.
Reconciliation without justice? Experiences of white and black youths in White Man Black War (1989), Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives (2010) and Country of my Skull (1998)Author Maurice Taonezvi VambeSource: Commonwealth Youth and Development 11, pp 113 –126 (2013)More Less
The aim of this article is to explore the idea of reconciliation, healing, rehabilitation and restitution in the everyday social praxis of white youths and their depiction in Zimbabwean and South African fiction. The question is: In the process of representing new narratives on everyday modes of communitarian reconciliation, healing, rehabilitation and restitution, how do we know that what the creative writers authorise as authentic discourses of reconciliation are embedded different forms of [in] justices? A potentially constructive way to approach this literary puzzle is to problematise the notions of reconciliation, justice and representation. Zimbabwe is gripped by a groundswell of narratives of healing, rehabilitation and reconciliation authorised by the state, church, youth, academics and creative writers all who speak in the name of the people and justice in light of the country's recent history recent history of political struggle for land justice. However, there is paucity of critical works that explore the white youth's experience of reconciliation and [in] justice in post-colonial Zimbabwe. The article explores one novel White Man Black War, and two white youth narrative stories from a collection of narratives entitled Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives (2010), and another novel Country of my Skull (1998) by a South African author. The article compares the literary models of reconciliation suggested in the novels and uses the equally profound but illusive theoretical insight by Derrida which is that "true forgiveness lies in the capacity to forgive the unforgivable" (2001: 1) in assessing the creative visions of the authors from two different African countries that experienced two different processes of transitional justices in the process of gaining independence from their former colonisers. The article argues that reconciliation without justice not realised in spiritual and material benefits to the aggrieved party is not only empty but also a pernicious apologia for forces of social domination.