The moral ecology of South Africa's township youth (IKASI) 2004-05: Western Cape. Interview 2 - A qualitative study
- Swartz, Sharlene
- Human Sciences Research Council
- Association for Moral Education
- Cambridge Commonwealth Trust
- Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust
- Harvey Fellows Programme of the Mustard Seed Foundation
- Homerton College
- The Cambridge European Trust
- The Cambridge Faculty of Education
- The Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa
- The Newby Trust
IKASI; MORAL ECOLOGY; MORAL REGENERATION; MORALITY; TOWNSHIP; VALUES IN SOCIETY; YOUTH
Description: The data set consists of 35 second transcribed interviews with South Africa's township youth in the Western Cape. Participants came from one class in a Langa township school, and from one class in a nearby suburban school. The sample is 37, 31 from the township school and 6 from the suburban school. The six participants from the suburban school all live in Langa. Not all participants from the township school live in Langa.
Abstract: Voices of young people who live in a context of poverty are largely unheard in the study of morality. Instead moral debates are dominated by strictly bounded academic discourses, official calls for 'moral regeneration' and moral panics. Furthermore, the emphasis on individual moral development has neglected the socio-cultural contexts of young people's moral formation. In contrast, this study offers a complex youth ethnography of the moral sphere that explores how young people living in a context of poverty understand the concept of morality and how this construction facilitates their processes of moral formation. The study is located in Langa, a peri-urban township (ikasi) near Cape Town, South Africa, and follows 37 young men and women aged between 14 and 20, over the course of a year. The majorities of youth were in Grade 9 and attended a township school, while a small group attended a nearby suburban school. The research design combines the usual elements of ethnography with multiple creative methods designed to engage youth over the course of a year. Included in these methods are: auto photography, free lists, mind maps and a rank ordering activity. The study produces findings in three main areas. On a descriptive level, it provides an account of the moral lives of vulnerable young people from within a context of partial-parenting, partial-schooling, pervasive poverty and inequality, and in the aftermath of the moral injustices of Apartheid. On an analytical level, it shows how these young people exhibit conventional values in some areas, contested values in others as well as postmodern values especially regarding authority and self-authorization. It identifies young people's social representations of morality as action (what you do), as embodied (who you are and who others are to you) and as located or inevitable (where you are i.e. in school, at home, off the streets, or simply in ikasi. On a theoretical level it offers the term moral capital, and moral ecology to broaden discourse on young people's moral lives.
2004 / 2005
South Africa (ZA)
OtherOther, This study adopted ethnographic approaches to understanding young people's lives and how they speak about their lives. Multiple creative methods were used to engage youth including: Participant observation, outings and activities, home visits, digital documentaries (photovoice), adventure camps, Free lists, Group Interviews, Individual interviews and Mind maps.
Update Metadata: 2021-01-13 | Issue Number: 1339 | Registration Date: 2016-09-01