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Title: Making different equal? : social practices of policy-making and the National Qualifications Framework in South Africa between 1985 and 2003
Author: Lugg, Rosemary Anne
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2007
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This study explores the making of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in South Africa between 1985 and 2003 and asks how a policy which represented a national consensus on transforming education and training failed to become hegemonic when the new state established itself. Informed by involvement in these events, the thesis draws on data gathered from documents and interviews with over 70 participants engaged in making the NQF. Using a conceptual vocabulary derived from Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theory the study undertakes an analysis of the way social antagonisms were constructed and political frontiers drawn. Through this taxonomy it seeks to explain how discourses associated with the NQF were constructed, contested and changed. Working with policy-makers' own accounts of their experiences the study explores the interrelationships between policy discourses, policy-makers' subjectivities and the nature of their agency. The thesis argues that the emergence and development of the NQF can be explained in relation to shifting hegemonic practices that sought to organise social relations in the field of education and training. The NQF is portrayed as a feature of the political transition, linked to practices concerned with securing a democratic market economy, and suturing the social dislocation brought about by the end of apartheid. The analysis runs that there has been a failure to maintain hegemony and that a rupture has occurred along a fault line within the South African state between practices building a corporatist state and those constructing a strong developmental state. In the process policy-makers have negotiated subjectivities within complex and shifting discursive networks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available