Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The social origins of failure : morphogenesis of educational agency in the Cape Colony
Author: Pretorius, Deon
ISNI:       0000 0001 3499 665X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1993
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study is an investigation into the failure of dominant social agents to achieve social objectives through control over the educational sphere. The Morphogenetic Approach, developed by British sociologist Margaret Archer, is utilized to explore the educational agency of dominant groups in the Cape Colony over the period from 1652 to approximately 1860. The general objective is to gain greater insight into the complex relations between, on the one hand, structural and ideological factors, and on the other hand, features of social agents as collectivities who hold particular ideas and institutional positions in relation to the education service provided. This information is, then, utilized to explore the morphogenetic origins of failure, i.e. as emerging from the complex interaction between parts of the social system. This study makes a contribution by applying the morphogenetic perspective in a new context; utilizing the pre-colonial and other subsequent historical context to explore the pre-conditioning effect of past interaction on later interaction; revisiting well-known material to arrive at new conclusions from the morphogenetic perspective and introducing the morphogenesis / transformation of agency as source of failure; and it considers the implied strategic considerations for successful agency. The methodology of the study was determined by the nature of the morphogenetic perspective. In the way utilized here, the morphogenetic approach was a method for analyzing the relationships between components of a social system. The study contains two major divisions: Section A contains the development of the theoretical equipment for the application on the Cape Colony in Section B. The theoretical work involves separate consideration being given to the role of overall social features, institutional structure, ideational features and features of agent in the success/failure of agency. Particular attention is given to the changes that occur among the above and how it serves to explain the failure of agency. The general conclusion arrived at is that failure of agency is inevitable, if by success is meant the complete victory of one agent over others in terms of the achievement of the objectives set by such an agent at the outset of the interaction between the groups involved. Morphogenetic processes are responsible for modifications in both the context and the groups, and even the most powerful dominant agent cannot prevent the unintended outcome of interaction over a prolonged period of time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Human Sciences Research Council ; University of Port Elizabeth ; Rectors' Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education