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Cultures of inequality exploring gender and race in a South African university

Nombela, Ntombenhle 2014. Cultures of inequality exploring gender and race in a South African university. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis investigates the nature and intersection of gender and racial inequality within a South African University culture during a period of transition in the higher education system in South Africa. The research draws on Alvesson’s (2002) emancipatory approach to culture and on Acker’s (2006) inequality regimes framework to explore the ways in which gender, class and race operate as organising principles of work and within organisations. This study explore in particular, the role and impact of social and historic inequalities embedded within South Africa’s national culture, a legacy of the previous “apartheid” era, on the nature of gender and race relations within a University setting. It also examines the ways in which gender and race form the bases of inequality through a range of gender and race relations- that being the division of labour, symbols, social relations and self-identities and examines the visibility, legitimacy, control and compliance of inequalities including how the processes and practices of the University produce an ideal worker norm. The findings suggest that the University’s structures, processes and practices reflect nationally embedded divisions and have reinforced and strengthened the pre-existing patriarchal and racialised University culture. Through the adoption of Acker’s inequality regimes framework and intersectionality approach (Crenshaw 1991; Acker 2006b; Knudsen 2006) to the analysis of University cultures, this research has enabled participants to have a voice concerning the shape and degree of inequalities in the workplace. In doing so, the research makes an important contribution to academic knowledge and understanding of the gendered and racialised nature of the University culture and the constitution of individual subjectivities, as well as in the wider context, the gendered and racialised nature of the organisations and organisational theory.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: National Research Fund South Africa
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:51

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