n South African Journal of Education - Gender and future role choice : a study of black adolescent girls

Volume 23, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



The life world of black adolescent girls in schools in the Gauteng area is considered with reference to their future aspirations. Gilligan's ethnographic methods ("Listenings") are used to show how these girls have high aspirations and a sense of control over their future, but are constrained and silenced, although the effects of gender subordination are attenuated higher up on the social pyramid. Life chances are generally enhanced by attending school, but are severely limited by the patriarchal underpinnings of life at home and the local community. Guarding independence, while forming careers and relationships at the same time, is a major dilemma faced by these girls. Results suggest that educational and social planning needs to focus on promoting more equitable gender regimes.

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