Spatial density : the pervasive nature of racial segregation in the new democratic South Africa : 'a descriptive study of how a sample of students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) use social space'.
The present study investigated the nature of desegregation as observed by the use of space by the diverse racial groups at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg). The researcher observed and recorded participants as they used the Hexagon Cafeteria at the University. Observations and systematic recordings were conducted in the first week in term on Monday and Tuesday over four consecutive weeks. Participants were recorded as they sat at a table and when they left the table. Their race, gender, time and table number were captured, forming data for the final analysis. The study revealed that black students were the least represented race group, in number, and were the mostly segregated from the other racial groups. Perhaps this study would have yielded different results if there were a higher proportion of black students throughout the six-day observational period. Indian students were the majority at the Cafeteria in comparison to other racial groups. It seems that the Hexagon Cafeteria is a popular meeting place for most Indian students. It can also be speculated that the Hexagon Cafeteria appears to be an ideal meeting place for most female students as they outnumbered the male students throughout the six-day observational period. Despite persistent racial segregation, points of contact (integration) were observed between the three racial groups.
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