Knowledge and knowers in the discipline of marketing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
This study, which is set in a Faculty of Management Studies at a higher education institution in South Africa, is concerned with facilitating students' epistemological access to the discipline of Marketing. It takes the position that each discipline has its own Discourse or 'ways of being' (Gee, 2005), and that this is influenced by the discipline's underlying knowledge structure (Maton, 2003). The ability of Marketing lecturers to help students to become effective participants in the Discourse of Marketing rests on an understanding of what legitimate participation in the Discourse of Marketing entails. However, because such understandings are often tacit and contested, inducting students into disciplinary Discourses is made difficult. Thus the first research question that this study seeks to address is: What constitutes epistemological access to the discipline of Marketing? The second question is: How do educational practices in Marketing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) impact on the achievement of epistemological access to the discipline? Theoretically, the study draws on Maton's (2005a) Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) and work undertaken from a New Literacy Studies (NLS) perspective, such as Gee‟s theory of Discourse (2005) and "academic literacies‟ research. LCT allows for an analysis of the underlying principles that structure the discipline of Marketing, thus conceptualising the "rules of the game‟ of the discipline and highlighting what counts as relevant meaning in Marketing. This analysis is therefore pertinent in addressing the first research question. NLS allows for an understanding of how lecturers and students operate in the discipline to construct legitimate meaning by engaging in appropriate practices and communication. Methodologically, the analysis of data also draws on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). An understanding of the "rules of the game‟ of Marketing, given by the LCT analysis, provides a backdrop against which educational practices in the discipline of Marketing at UKZN are explored. The analysis using CDA gives insight into how students' Marketing identities are being built in the discipline of Marketing at UKZN and what the ramifications are for their epistemological access to the discipline, thus addressing the second research question. In combination, these analyses reveal that students‟ Marketing identities are not being specialised in ways that are appropriate to the disciplinary Discourse. Possible reasons for the inconsistency between the type of knower espoused and the type of knower actually produced in the discipline are explored.