A discursive formation that undermined integration at a historically advantaged school in South Africa

  • D Naidoo
Keywords: integration, code, boundaries, discourse, discursive formation, regularities


This paper provides an analysis of the extent of integration at a historically advantaged school. A qualitative multi-method case study allowed for in-depth analysis of integration in the school. Bernstein’s theory of code, classification, boundary and power framed the study. Data analysis showed that: racial desegregation was achieved at student and level one staff level and lacking at management and administrative staff level; staffing integration was minimal; institutional culture integration was not evident; social boundaries enacted maintained previous race based power relations; weaker boundaries between instrumental and non-instrumental forms of knowledge legitimised students’ experiences and interests but did not facilitate access to non-instrumental forms of knowledge and thinking; the dominant discursive frame of teachers was one of student deficit. These regularities point to a discursive formation (Foucault, 1977) that undermine integration and would reproduce previous racialised inequalities. Finally, an explanation of the discursive formation is touched on followed by recommendations.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0258-2236