n Journal of Educational Studies - In defence of a deliberative racial interaction model for managing race and racism in the South African higher education institutions

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1680-7456



This paper argues that institutional practices in the South African higher education system are complicit in not creating an equal, fair and non-racist South Africa, despite the fact that the legislative and policy framework outlaws racism in any form. While opportunities are accorded to all to access higher education, necessary interventions are not enough to change the racial polarisation. This paper further argues that attempts to address racial discrimination by means of a "fruit cocktail" of assimilation, multiculturalism, integration and anti-racist education are fundamentally problematic. A deliberative form of democratic engagement on racial matters that goes beyond mere inclusion, equality and publicity is suggested. This includes a preference for a more vigilant form of managing racism that also takes into account compassion, hospitality and belligerence as the outward manifestations of this engagement. We also defend the position that a vibrant discussion of racial positions or privileges and their ramifications in higher education attainment, even by citizens who were born after 1994, should not be considered as backward thinking in building a healthy society.

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