The purpose of this qualitative case study is to determine the extent to which an Afrikaans language textbook series acted as a change agent in terms of racial representation on the eve of democracy in South Africa. Data sources for the content analysis are press reports, parliamentary records and interviews with the publisher, the authors and leading academics. The contextualisation includes an explanation of how the authors of the Ruimland series were the first to intentionally break away from the apartheid perspective. The literature study comprises an explication of the master symbol model which serves as theoretical framework for this study. Influential issues in the literature on textbooks, representation, language and identity are also described. The main focus is on the three master symbols relevant to the study, which are presented as indicators of racial stereotyping, viz. the exclusivity and isolation of the in-group, appropriation and generalising and simplifying. These indicators are utilised as measurable norms in the analysis of racial representation. Counter-indicators obtained from the data are used to increase the reliability of the analysis. Traces of stereotyping regarding all the indicators and counter-indicators were found in the data. The findings show that master symbols are evident in the data, but that the series also incorporates counter-symbols directed toward a post-apartheid society. The concluding chapters suggests that the series could have been an early signal of a paradigm shift in Afrikaner ranks toward democracy in South Africa.
Dissertation (MEd (Educational Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.