Multicultural Studies Indeed, the Interests Term Paper

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Multicultural Studies

Indeed, the interests of the oppressors lie in "changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them," (1) for the more the oppressed can be led to adapt to that situation, the more easily they can be dominated. To achieve this, the oppressors use the banking concept of education in conjunction with a paternalistic social action apparatus, within which the oppressed receive the euphemistic title of "welfare recipients." They are treated as individual cases, as marginal persons who deviate from the general configuration of a "good, organized and just" society. The oppressed are regarded as the pathology of the healthy society which must therefore adjust these "incompetent and lazy" folk to its own patterns by changing their mentality. These marginals need to be "integrated," "incorporated" into the healthy society that they have "forsaken." -Paulo Freire from Chapter 2 of Pedagogy of the OppressedDownload full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Multicultural Studies Indeed, the Interests of the Assignment

The nation of South Africa is a nation in flux, (Van Der Linde, 2002, pg. 511) as the revolutionary changes that began there with the absolution of Apartheid and the restructuring of society created a volatile environment of change. The nation will clearly take longer to recover from this abhorrent institution fifty years in the making and application than the time it took to conceive of or abolish it. The seeds of dissent ran much deeper but the established or official absolution of Apartheid occurred in 1994 and some 13 years later it is still a nation in transition. Sadly the history of South Africa, and the discussion of how far it has progressed away from the legacy of colonization and Apartheid cannot occur without and establishment of its oppressed past. As a standard, vocal idea many people all over the world believe that once the legal situation of an oppression is eradicated through official means that many if not all of the oppressive situations disappear. Yet as we, in the United States are aware having experienced Black Slavery, the Civil War, the ratification of the 15th Amendment and all the subsequent precedence and laws attempting to eliminate the condition of slavery in law and fact and lastly the long arduous process of reformation know this is definately not the case and the only way to understand a current set of problems with regard to oppression one must understand how the oppression was won, developed and hopefully eventually eradicated, as a process. That process is still unfolding in South Africa and the conditions today are the conditions associated with a period of transition, from a state of almost complete oppression to one that is only now attempting to erase the hundreds of years of damage that it has caused.

Brief History of Apartheid

In the history of South Africa are some interesting facts, that are very worth mention here within the broader discussion of racism and oppression, as the political and social reality in South Africa has a long history that evolved through the heavy period of colonialism and is forever scarred by the system. Colonization began in the 17th century, with the Dutch and English precariously maintaining a shared system of control for many years, mostly with. The period was not by any means angelic and racial disparity was clearly accepted, between both the English and Dutch colonizers against each other and the English and Dutch (Boers or Afrikaners) against the native populations, made up of many ethnicities of black nationals and some Asian populations (brought there through the colonial system usually for the purpose of labor). The English had periods of domination over the Dutch and there were also periods of the reverse. The Dutch established separate colonies during this period and until the discovery of diamonds in the Dutch controlled regions there was at least marginal peace where most parties were at least afforded the opportunity to work to provide for their family, though a very different work than the traditional that often involved separation from their home and also dangerous and depraved low paid employment for the blacks. This system of subjugation through the means of labor intensified exponentially with the discovery of diamonds and other natural resources. The Boer Wars as they are called were fought between the Dutch and the English as a result of the discovery of rich resources in Dutch controlled territory and the English eventually prevailed. Following eventual independence from England (as a nation) the two now descendant groups, the English descendants of colonizers and Dutch descendants of colonizers shared precarious control for many years until the 1940s, when the backlash 9to the Boer Wars) occurred and the Afrikaner governmental representation gained control at the national level and began asserting Apartheid to maintain/regain their control over the means of production and utilization of resources. In short the infighting of the two privileged white minorities created a situation of absolute dependency and disenfranchisement upon the native blacks, which simply worsened and already unfair system, by establishing a de facto and de jure system of white dominance over blacks and racial separation. The situation, rather than getting better with time actually got worse as fear began to be pervasive among the white minority that the system of control would break down without an assertion of power on the part of the whites so in the after years of legal and social control including an archaic system of identity which was designated by race (white, black (Africans), or colored (usually Indian and Asians)) "All blacks were required to carry "pass books" containing fingerprints, photo and information on access to non-black areas." (Chokshi, et. al. 1995) 1960s the plan of "Grand Apartheid" was executed and territorial separation enforced by and police repression became the reality of the situation. (Chokshi, et. al. 1995)

There is no single place in the modern world that provides a better example of the foundation of Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed than South Africa, and more specifically South Africa's historical education system.

The foundation of the culture, up to the point of the first aggressive actions away from a marginalized majority, was dependant on the complete control of the native South African peoples. An attempt was made from the moment of political and economic conquest of the nation by colonialists to subvert the expression of independence and to assert a paternalistic and classical "banking" system of education, where the "official" education system only taught the history, language and belief system of the oppressors, with no regard for native, language, culture or history, in an attempt to establish order among the "pathological" inhabitants of the nation and region. "Before Black rule in South Africa, education was used as a means of social control and to reproduce a docile labor force since the first school was established in 1658." (Hlatshwayo, 2000, p. 1)

Though education is not the only place where this occurred, in fact it occurred in a far more sweeping sense than this, all over the country, to maintain safety and order for the minority oppressors. Everything was effected from, where people were allowed to live to where they were aloud to work, and who they were allowed to marry, and even something as foundational as citizenship was basically stripped from native peoples. Realistically, the three most logical issues to discuss, with regard to how South Africa established its pedagogy of the oppressed are, education, employment and citizenship. "Education cannot be studied in a vacuum; it must be located within the broader context of linked political, social, and economic changes. In South Africa each of these aspects of social life is violently demarcated by ethnicity or "race." (Hlatshwayo, 2000, p. 1)

Education Under Apartheid

The system of Apartheid was pervasive, and the only way to maintain such a system, according to the white majority was to foster a sense of "lesser" and "other" in the majority population and the best way to do that was through a segregated and inferior school system which taught only the pedagogy of the oppressor in an environment that was in contrast to the white minority education system, (which in isolation was in many ways better than any in the world in infrastructure, spending per student and student per teacher ratio.)

Though factual explanations, graphs, charts and mental pictures are not enough to isolate the real effect that a non-culturally diverse (in fact culturally void) school system must have been like it does much to explain the official rule of the white minority over generations of black South Africans and expresses the basis for the pedagogy of oppressed.

Formal educational knowledge can be considered to be realized through three message systems: curriculum, pedagogy, and evaluation. Curriculum defines what counts as valid knowledge, pedagogy defines what counts as a valid transmission of knowledge on the part of the taught. The term, educational knowledge... refers to the underlying principles which shape curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation." This process occurs under integrated codes which depend on explicit ideology." (Hlatshwayo, 2000, p. 20)

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