A case study of knowledge structures and pedagogic practices in English Education and English Literary Studies at a South African university

  • Kershnee Sevnarayan
Keywords: Knowledge structures, knowledge blindness, Legitimation Code Theory, English Studies, pedagogic practices, cultural capital, epistemological access


This study arose out of a concern that lecturers, tutors and students in their disciplines pay insufficient attention to the nature, structure and effects of the types of knowledge that is being disseminated and learnt. It is argued in this paper that lecturers, tutors and students are under the spell of what Maton (2018) terms ‘knowledge-blindness’. This study investigates how knowledge structures impact on lecturers’ and/or tutors’ pedagogic practices in the English Education and English Literary Studies disciplines at a South African university. Since this is a qualitative study, focus group interviews with students, one-onone interviews with lecturers and tutors, classroom observation and documentary evidence were used as research instruments. Case study research was chosen as the research design. Drawing on Legitimation Code Theory, the study shows that both English Education and English Literary Studies privilege a particular kind of disposition or ‘gaze’.

Keywords: Knowledge structures; knowledge blindness; Legitimation Code Theory; English Studies; pedagogic practices; cultural capital; epistemological access


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0259-9570