Auto-ethnographic reflections on whiteness: Rethinking diversity in Dutch South African higher education research

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter provides a blend of auto- and engaged ethnography in an attempt to push for understanding and knowing beyond the scientifically accepted and the emotionally taken-for-granted. By critically exploring and contemplating painful dilemmas and not-so-glorious solutions on their whiteness, the three authors meander along their professional trajectories and reflect on the contexts of their life histories. As white privileged scholars teaching at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and studying South African higher education transformation processes, we find ourselves often caught in the middle between engagement and uneasiness regarding spokespersonship about racism and related dimensions of exclusion. In three vignettes we account for this journey – in The Netherlands and in South Africa – and address the paradox of engagement from a compromised position.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSCHOLARLY ENGAGEMENT AND DECOLONISATION
Subtitle of host publicationViews from South Africa, The Netherlands and the United States
EditorsMaurice Crul, Halleh Ghorashi, Liezl Dick, A. Valenzuela Jr
Place of PublicationStellenbosch
PublisherAfrican Sun Media
Chapter4
Pages103-137
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9781928314578
ISBN (Print)9781928314561
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameOn Higher Education Transformation
PublisherAfrican Sun Media
Volume1

Keywords

  • auto-ethnography; engaged scholarship; South Africa; The Netherlands; whiteness; higher education; decolonization

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