n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Youth sentiments about 'others', epistemological change, and belonging at a South African university

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



Young South Africans today face a multitude of critical and demanding challenges - the literature highlights identity conundrums; stresses implicit in academic environments; and numerous and contradictory messages on race, nationality and citizenship in a transforming, post-apartheid context. This article focuses on one key controversy in present-day South Africa - namely, young people's sentiments towards and perceptions of foreign nationals and their place in a democratic South Africa. The attitudes expressed are explained, first, through reference to anomic conditions in South Africa, in which levels of trust have been debilitated and in which negative public discourses of foreigners have been allowed to become hegemonic; and second, through students' suggestions that problematic perceptions of black foreigners stem largely from a lack of substantive knowledge of Africa, its history, and its inhabitants. It is argued that universities need to take seriously the Soudien Report's (2008) position on the necessity for epistemological change in order to better equip students to deal with rapidly diversifying student populations. The article is concluded with two central recommendations for institutional interventions at South African universities.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error