oa Mosenodi - Gender dimension of individuation from parents and relationships with peers-the case of Tirelo Setshaba participants in Botswana



The Tirelo Setshaba (National Service) scheme engages youth of ages 18 to 23 who have completed their Cambridge Ordinary Level School Certificate. They are employed for a year in different occupations across the country. These late adolescents and young adults have not usually had any independence from the control of either their families or guardians or teachers and boarding staff Because of these social and institutional limits, they have had little experience and exposure to the realities of life. Tirelo Setshaba gives many of them who leave home for the firs time these experiences. They are faced with an array of problems ranging from relationships at work, to interacting within an environment free of most constraints, to confronting peer group pressures (from other participants) in relation to drinking, drugs and personal relationships. The paper explores strategies that participants use to cope with these new situations. The study uses the concept of individuation which means the process by which a person develops his l her self image. It evaluates data obtained from 60 diaries kept by participants on their relationships with their peers. The study is based on the assumption that cognitive conflict can induce developmental change; and explores the effects of peer dialogue and daily companionship in late adolescence and early adulthood on development of the Tirelo Setshaba participants. The major finding is that during their year of national service, the participants develop new perceptions of self that are derived from their interaction with their peers.


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