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Participation politics: African parents' negotiation of social identities in school governance and its policy implications

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Although there is evidence of parental participation in school governance in South Africa, the question of how these parents manage their participation in these affairs is largely unanswered. This question represents one of the major exclusions in the existing reflections on the school governance debate in the country. Using a qualitative approach, this study investigated the underlying dynamics of social identity as a factor in parents' engagement in school governance in 10 schools in the Eastern Cape. It provides evidence of the fragmented and dynamic nature of social identity and how it shaped behaviours among the parents. While challenging many contemporary social theories, the paper suggests several implications for policy re-formulation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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