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Citizenship Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa

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How is citizenship understood in South Africa, a new democracy with a deeply divided past? This paper describes the approach to citizenship education in recent educational policy, and in curriculum developments. It does so against the background of a conceptualisation of citizenship based on both the participatory vision of the anti-apartheid struggle and on the citizen as presented in the new Constitution. The shifting nature of the divisions that still deeply divide this society is explored, together with tensions between what can be called the official conceptualisation of citizenship and a more popular interpretation of citizenship as access to socio economic rights. This tension poses potential problems in the democratic polity, as well as a challenge for citizenship education.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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