South Africa, Multicultural Education in
The legacy of colonialism and apartheid remains central in the process of reconstructing the modern South African educational system. Both forms of rule drew heavily on ideas of race and its attendant processes, such as racism. In reforming the society the question of how these forces might be challenged is at the core of sociological and historical debates. Because race and culture were, and continue to be, used in an interchangeable way, multicultural education is a subject of immense interest for South Africa. For some it represents a version of what apartheid stood for. For others it offers a way of moving beyond apartheid. To avoid, therefore, the negative connotations accompanying it, the new state has preferred to address the issues of social difference and inequality through a human rights framework. This entry explains the historical context of these developments and examines their strengths and weaknesses. The nature of social ...