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The Useless Knowledge in South Africa: The Origins and Way Forward for the Knowledge Economy

Kgothatso Brucely Shai


This paper critiques Eurocentrism and its racist practices as they relate to academic institutions and unfairness and unjust practices. The critique is located in the context of the growth in literature on the state of scientific knowledge in South Africa. However, scholars and practitioners do not have a shared understanding of this phenomenon. This auto-ethnographic paper revisits this discourse and offers an Afrocentric supervisor’s perspective. The aim is to locate the origins of the notion of ‘useless’ knowledge and proposes measures for realising the envisaged knowledge economy. This aim is achieved by drawing from the author’s insider perspective and interdisciplinary discourse analysis. The author concedes that the quality of scientific knowledge in South Africa is questionable due to several historical factors that manifest in different ways. The author concludes that an argument that such questionable knowledge is useless is misplaced and non-developmental.

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eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804