oa Alternation - Critique in retreat? Intellectuals and inequality in South Africa

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



One of the aspects of globalisation has been a tremendous expansion of knowledge and a proportional expansion of 'knowledge workers' who form an increasingly large proportion of the employed. This stratum has acquired vital skills and good education, is well paid, and highly mobile. Intellectuals are in one sense knowledge workers (usually at the lower end of the earnings market) who have an independent sense of their destiny and intellectual activity distinct from their employment, yet they also exist in an environment in which knowledge workers are increasingly absorbed into relationships of power. The transition in South Africa has brought all kinds of openings to intellectuals in (he field of government and policy-making as Members of Parliament, highly paid officials, commissioners, etc.

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