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Whiteness Is the New South Africa

Qualitative Research on Post-Apartheid Racism


Christopher B. Knaus and M. Christopher Brown II

In 1994, the world joined South Africa in celebration of the results of its first democratic election. The results, emblazoned on the world’s memory with President Nelson Mandela waving to a multiracial crowd, signified the end of apartheid and an emerging new era of hope. However, Mandela’s recent death has given birth to a more critical view of his «Rainbow Nation.» No matter how examined, education in South Africa remains steadfastly unequal, with many White children retaining the educational privileges inherent to apartheid. White children in South Africa overwhelmingly attend wealthy, fully resourced schools, while the vast majority of Black and Coloured children attend woefully underresourced schools.
Based upon three sets of studies in schools in and around Cape Town, Whiteness Is the New South Africa highlights drastic racial disparities, suggesting that educational apartheid continues unabated, potentially fostering future generations of impoverished Black and Coloured communities. This book suggests that South Africa remains committed to stifling the intellectual, emotional, and economic development of Black and Coloured youth, while simultaneously investing in White children.
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Appendix A. Researching Racism in South African Schools: A Clarification of Methods


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Researching Racism in South African Schools: A Clarification of Methods

About the Sample

Participating schools were recruited from a random sample of 100 schools in the Cape Town area. Efforts were made to ensure that predominantly White, Coloured, and Black schools were identified to allow for comparative analysis. Follow-up discussions with school leadership determined their fit for the larger study (which was based on enrollments, resource levels, locations, and predominant race of students). From the pool of 100 schools, preliminary interviews were conducted with principals to determine willingness to participate and appropriateness of inclusion in the study. A total of 25 schools were then included in the final analysis. Of these 25, 15 were primary and 10 were secondary schools. Table A.1 shows the breakdown of participating schools by race and school type.1

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