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Title: Nostalgia, Anxiety and Gratification: Narratives of Female Staff in a Merged Higher Education Institutions
Authors: Gachago, Daniela 
Sosibo, Zilungile 
Ivala, Eunice 
Keywords: Digital storytelling;Merger;Narrative inquiry;Dialogical narrative analysis;Feminist theory;Higher Education;South Africa
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Alternation
Source: Gachago, D., Sosibo, Z. and Ivala, E.N., 2015. Nostalgia, Anxiety and Gratification: Narratives of Female Staff in a Merged Higher Education Institution. Comparative Perspectives on Higher Education Systemic Change, Curriculum Reform, Quality Promotion and Professional Development, p.19.
Abstract: The merger processes that the South African Higher Education system went through over the last 15 years are well documented. There is less research exploring the personal experiences of staff members during and after the merger and in particular the experience of female staff members. This study explored how female staff members perceived of the merging of a tertiary institution in the Western Cape. Narratives of eight academics and administrative/support staff members collected in four digital storytelling workshops form the basis of this study. Through a Dialogical Narrative Analysis lens two ‘core narratives’ emerged. Stories of nostalgia, mourning and struggling recorded the pain of letting go of the old culture. Stories of opportunity and gains told of those staff members who embrace the new culture and its emphasis on promoting a research career. Both core narratives reveal a sense of pain and loss. The institutional culture portrayed in the narratives of these women enculturates women into a hegemony of white male academia, exemplified by notions of solitary advancement, ambition, isolation, focus on research and lack of recognition for teaching. There is a need at the institution to engage with the collective narrative emerging from these women’s stories to address the way women experienced an institutional merger and engage in a conversation on how to define academic excellence at the institution.
Appears in Collections:Edu - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)

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