n South African Journal of Higher Education - The four-year eternity : sacrifice, death and resurrection as metaphors for aspects of tertiary institutional transformation : perspectives on higher education

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Being involved in a voluntary retrenchment programme in his employing tertiary educational institution, and as part of a need to understand the retrenchment process and its impact, the author set out to find aspects of language that were apposite and accurate enough not only to delineate the process but also its impact at unconscious levels. Metaphors and similes often serve as useful means of clarification, of providing multiple perspectives, of constructing parallel insights into what is happening to individuals. This article explores the proposition that the processes of sacrifice, death and resurrection provide valuable metaphors for understanding organisational transformation. The paradoxical ideal of putting death to the service of life is incorporated through Duverger's discussion of sacrifice in Aztec culture.

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