Social identity development among students doing diversity and learning module at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Khanyile, Ntombifuthi Iorah.
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The casting of the votes for the first time for all South Africans irrespective of race, gender, social class and language brought hope of a better life for all in South Africa. There were fears and uncertainty but many were optimistic about the future in our country. The new democratic South Africa had challenges that needed drastic transformation. That included understanding each other in terms of social identities and power relations since these challenges involved the end of discrimination of any kind, living together, losing some privileges to those who had them, and sharing some powers. Before 1994 when South Africa was under the spell of apartheid, South Africans were divided into social groups that forbade people to know each other. Some people for example White people, men and upper class people who had privileges enjoyed their privileges in the expense of others who had no privileges like Indians, Coloureds, Africans, women and lower class people. These groups that were powerless were oppressed and discriminated against. That resulted into anger, hatred and dissatisfaction among people. They became far apart from each other. Therefore all South Africans (privileged and non privileged) had to renegotiate their social identities and change their understanding of who they are. That could not be done automatically, strategies had to be implemented so as to influence these kind of changes in people. This research was done in order to find if students on the Diversity and Learning (DaL) module of Social Justice Education have developed in their understanding of social identities. Interviews were done at the University of KwaZulu Natal Edgewood Campus. Literature concerning social identities was examined. A qualitative research design was used. A non - probability sampling method was used with reliance on available subjects. The snowball method was used to find 8 students, comprising of 2 Whites, 2 Blacks, 2 Coloureds and 2 Indians where both sexes were involved. Data was collected through an in-depth interview to enable self - reports from the samples. The finding of the research shows that students on the DaL module do seem to have gone through some changes, and these changes are in the areas which DaL module addresses, that is, race and gender.