The role of film in attitudinal change and behavioural rehabilitation of youth in conflict with the law: Winkie Direko Secure Care Centre and Tsotsi.
Nkwoji, Kenalemang Fanny Ntsoaki.
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Youth are important human capital, and there is a shortage of research on young offenders within the South African context. The legal and the policy frameworks seek to achieve balance by reflecting societal concerns and by responding reflectively and proportionately to young offenders in the criminal justice system. South Africa has unnervingly high rates of violence, with youth being amongst the perpetrators. This study focuses on the role that film can play in attitudinal and behavioural rehabilitation of youth in conflict with the law. The study seeks to establish entertainment education (EE) criteria and principles that are evident in Tsotsi towards attitudinal and behavioural change of youth offenders. The study subscribes to the understanding of rehabilitation from a behaviour change assessment as well as to the notion of rehabilitation as form of intervention. Adopting a communications approach and influenced by entertainment education practice, the study uses Tsotsi as a research aid to explore the use of role modelling as a process that elucidates assorted forms of learning. The study adopts a qualitative interpretative phenomenological approach, studying youth offenders’ lived experiences of the phenomenon of conflict with the law and attitudinal change and rehabilitation. Convenient sampling, together with purposive sampling were used to select 15 male participants at Winkie Direko Child and Youth Care Centre in Bloemfontein. To attain an in depth approach to the study, both focus group interviews and one on one interviews are utilised. Using thematic analysis, themes are discussed in the light of Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory (SCT) and audience identification studies which both inform entertainment education. There was a strong link between film and entertainment education towards the attitudinal change and behavioural rehabilitation of youth offenders. Tsotsi served as a mirror through which the youth offenders could reflect on their personal lives. The interconnectedness of the concepts of observational learning, role modelling and self-efficacy serve as a strong factor that supports film as an EE communication strategy that can engender health communication in a non-threatening manner. The majority of the youth offenders were able to relate to the story line of Tsotsi, as it reflects many aspects of their personal lives. The study may also help to inform policy makers on how existing intervention strategies can be inculcated to multi-dimensional systems through the use of media and communications particularly film.