Equality

Unpacking ‘whiteness’

My last post “Whiteness is like herpes” did exactly what I thought it would. It resonated with a small number of fellow whites who correctly understood the analogy, and then provoked an angry reaction from many more whites who simply just proved my point, that “whiteness” (as an issue that is being spoken about internationally…

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Neoliberal capitalism is a violence against women (16 days of activism)

Sixteen days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children is upon us again this year. As usual it will come and go but very little will change for the majority of women and children in South Africa. The middle class will be a little more aware of the heinous gender-based violence statistics that…

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How to help students succeed at university

By Rakhee Naik and Safiyyah Pahad After 21 years of democracy, people still question whether apartheid is a prominent reason impacting on the current state of education. Whether acknowledged or not, we must consider its impact on predominantly black students in accessing resources and educational opportunities. This is exacerbated by their limited social and cultural…

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Critical consciousness is the answer

There is, increasingly, a common message that is emerging about South Africa 21 years since the formal end of apartheid — things are getting bad. As argued elsewhere, this might not be surprising particularly if we look at the developmental experiences during the first two decades or so for many post-independent countries on our continent….

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Gender violence and environmental injustice in the maquiladoras

Cost-benefit analyses are fairly central to mainstream economics. Even if one sets aside developments in economics of information or behaviour economics, which make room for irrationalities, social and psychological factors or asymmetries in information, economists will insist, and most of us may agree, that “things have to be paid for”. There is, however, a big…

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The rainbow nation needs a paint job

By Franklyn Odhiambo Theorists say race is a representation of social differences in a code that defends interests and conflicts by referring to apparent physiological characteristics and the treatment of fixities from these references as social facts and thus empirical truths. They say too that racism and a race project occur when a group has…

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What is ‘post’ in post-apartheid? Reflecting on my experiences

By Iris Nxumalo In a very engaging, robust class discussion about post-colonial societies, my lecturer challenged us by asking, “What is so post about post-colonial societies?” I paused. Upon reflection, I started to unpack our categorisations of people’s lived experiences into neat, temporal frameworks that organise our histories. I started to interrogate the places and…

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Paris again: Has Huntington’s thesis been vindicated?

The recent events in Paris (not long after the Charlie Hebdo attacks), which have understandably shocked everyone who values peaceful interaction between people of different cultural orientations, will no doubt fuel renewed intercultural distrust instead. This is to be expected, particularly after reports that one of the attackers might have entered France a few weeks…

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An equality fairytale

I identify at least 50 instances in this story that we affluent members of our society take for granted – see if you can spot them all or more. “Thandi was born in hospital by emergency Caesarean section six hours after her mother went into labour. Her mother had been careful to keep all her…

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Not all pale-skinned people are ‘white’

In certain circles I could suggest, “the real problems of the world are those caused by white masculine capitalist hegemony!” I might get a few heads to nod. I could then assert, “Down with white power! Whiteness must fall!” In the right circles this may well get me some applause. There would be others, however,…

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