'Exploring the potential of a prejudice reduction programme at a girls' junior school'

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study explores the potential of a prejudice reduction programme at a girls' junior school. Within South Africa, even with the changing policy and reforms that were based on a new constitutional dispensation, adults and children were, and still are, being faced on a daily basis with issues of prejudice and discrimination, such as racism, sexism, and class discrimination to name a few. The objectives of this study are fourfold: To explore what the dominant prejudices of grade 6 girls are; to examine how these prejudices are manifested; to investigate whether these prejudices could be reduced in a peer setting; and to discover whether the development of a co-constructed prejudice reduction programme would be a viable option for reducing prejudice. A mixed methodology approach combining both qualitative and quantitative data collection approaches is employed in this study. In this dual approach, the richness of respondents' experiences gained from focus group discussions, is complemented by data gained from structured questionnaires. A pre-test post-test model is adopted. The four focus groups have a dual purpose. One of their main purposes is to be utilized as research instruments in gathering qualitative data around the incidence and form of prejudice amongst the respondents. However, these same focus groups are also treated as a prejudice reduction intervention with the pre-test and post-test questionnaires functioning as measures of effectiveness in reducing prejudice. This research has uniquely used the focus group approach as a vehicle for prejudice awareness and prejudice reduction. The peer group setting was maximized to bring about transformation of attitudes and to coconstruct a prejudice reduction programme. The group process was skillfully used to promote a safe context for this change.

Bibliography : leaves 161-166.