Race, class and inequality : an exploration of the scholarship of Professor Bernard Magubane

Tanyanyiwa, Precious (2011) Race, class and inequality : an exploration of the scholarship of Professor Bernard Magubane. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This thesis begins with the assumption that the theory of academic dependency provides an adequate framework within which the relationship between social science communities in the North and South can be understood. Present problems of social scientists in the South have very often been attributed to this dependence and it has been concluded that academic dependence has resulted in an uncritical and imitative approach to ideas and concepts from the West (Alatas, 2000). This dependence has also resulted in the general regression among social scientists based in the South and in a marginalisation of their works within the social science community no matter how significant and original they may be. The problematic invisibility of the works of prominent South African scholars is a dimension of a wider crisis of academic dependence, if unchecked this current trend will also reinforce academic dependence. From the nature of the problems generated by academic dependence, it is obvious that there is a need for an intellectual emancipation movement. This movement may take different forms that may range from but are not limited to a commitment to endogeneity which involves among other things, knowledge production that takes South African local conditions seriously enough to be the basis for the development of distinct conceptual ideas and theories. This requires transcending the tendency to use ‘the local’ primarily as a tool for data collection and theoretical framing done from the global north. Secondly, there is a need to take the local, indigenous, ontological narratives seriously enough to serve as source codes for works of distinct epistemological value and exemplary ideas within the global project of knowledge production. Endogeneity in the context of African knowledge production should also involve an intellectual standpoint derived from a rootedness in the African conditions; a centring of African ontological discourses and experiences as the basis of intellectual work (Adesina, 2008: 135). In this study, it is suggested that the recommendations highlighted above can only succeed if scholars make an effort to actually engage with locally produced knowledge. There is therefore a need to make greater efforts to know each other’s work on Africa. This demand is not to appease individual egos but it is essential for progress in scientific work. African communities will benefit from drawing with greater catholicity from the well–spring of knowledge about Africa generated by Africans. In the South African context, transcending academic dependence in the new generation of young academics requires engagement with the work of our local scholars who have devoted their lives to knowledge production. This thesis explores the scholarship of Professor Bernard Magubane by engaging with his works on race, class and inequality by locating his works within the wider debates on race, class and inequality in South Africa. The specific contributions of Professor Magubane to the enterprise of knowledge production are identified and discussed in relation to his critique of Western social science in its application to Africa. The making of Professor Magubane’s life, his career, scholarship and biography details are analysed with the intention of showing their influence on Magubane as a Scholar. The examination of Professor Magubane’s intellectual and biographical accounts help to explain the details, contexts and implications of his theoretical paradigm shifts. This helps prove that Professor Magubane’s experiences and theoretical positions were socially and historically constituted. The research from which this thesis derives is part of an NRF-funded project, on Endogeneity and Modern Sociology in South Africa, under the direction of Professor Jimi Adesina.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Bernard Magubane, South Africa, Race relations, Sociology, Equality, Inequality, Research, Social policy, Class
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Sociology and Industrial Sociology
Supervisors:Adesina, Jimi
ID Code:3821
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:25 Oct 2012 13:22
Last Modified:25 Oct 2012 13:22
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