n South African Journal of Higher Education - The intersection of race and class in the South African university : student experiences

Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The purpose of this article is to make a contribution to the discussion on the sociological features of higher education and the significant ways in which it comes to produce a particular version of the racial experience. While work has appeared which has begun to comment on fragmentation of identity in South African higher education there is insufficient attention paid to the ways in which identity-making takes place. What this article will do is to focus on the racial as a resource which is brought into contact with the institution and to suggest what the outlines of this coming together are in the South African setting. It does not, indeed cannot, develop a deep discussion, as in the classic identity-formation literature, about subject formation - who, for example, is attributing what to whom and under what power conditions. What it seeks to do, in a limited way, is point to interesting new trends in how race is being experienced by South African students and particularly by black students. What does the racial experience look like for them? When students invoke race what is it that they are talking about?

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