n Educare - At society's margins : focus on the youth in South Africa




This study was undertaken to examine the extent to which young South Africans are integrated into contemporary post-apartheid society. A study of the available research literature brought a disturbingly negative picture to light. In both sectors of society - that is the black majority and the white minority - reports indicate that a large percentage of the youth is being seriously marginalised. Young black people (especially secondary school youth and students in higher education) have been marginalised through a previous political dispensation that offered them inferior and irrelevant education and training. A lack of skills prevents large numbers of young black people from securing a place in the job market.

Young white people are currently subjected to a political policy of reverse discrimination. As members of a disempowered white minority they are held in low esteem by the dominant segments of society. They are demotivated by a bleak vision of the future. Research reports postulate that educational and political authorities have failed to provide the necessary guidance for young people in a new era of technological development and economic globalization. This appears to have resulted in an upsurge of crime, aggression and violence that endangers the future of the youth in the country. This article examines the personal, political, social and environmental factors in South Africa that have a detrimental effect on the education and socialisation of the youth in the country. By means of focus group interviews with young people, it also attempts to determine the degree to which present research findings represent the situation of the youth in the country.


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