Title page for ETD etd-11202008-182759

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Timm, Victoria Margaret
Email timm@iafrica.com
URN etd-11202008-182759
Document Title Behaviour problems in primary schools in Mamelodi : an ecological construction
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr L M Eskell-Blokland Supervisor
  • social constructionism
  • discourse analysis
  • bullying
  • Mamelodi
  • primary schools
  • interpreters
  • indigenous psychology
  • community
  • postmodern
  • ecological
Date 2008-09-05
Availability unrestricted

The focus of this dissertation is to explore contextually relevant ideas through conversation around behaviour problems, specifically bullying, experienced in primary schools situated in the township of Mamelodi. The study explores the relationship around bullying between the members of the school staff involved with the children, the children identified as manifesting bullying behaviour, their families and any relevant community system or individuals as identified by the research participants themselves through conversation. It focuses on providing a description of experiences around bullying behaviour facing the participants by exploring their own perspectives and meanings around their situation and any possible solutions that they may offer. The focus is of an exploratory and descriptive nature to provide a basis for an intervention that is contextually relevant to this community by acknowledging these locally constructed discourses.

An ecological approach within a postmodern social constructionist theoretical backdrop is chosen for this study. It is an approach that emphasises the importance of context and the social constructionist influence emphasises the importance of language. Three primary schools in the Mamelodi Township were approached to participate. One ecological case study from one of the three schools is used in the analysis to explore the aims of this research. Data was gathered through semi-structured open-ended interviews. Discourse analysis is used to construct the various discourses emerging from the conversations resulting from the interviews. Through the discourse analysis the various meanings, experience or understanding around bullying are constructed. The interaction of these various discourses and influence that they have on each other are also considered. The possible influence of background discourses of the wider community and society are included. These discourses are presented not as truths but as a plausible a construction of an ecology of bullying grounded in background and events. Using theses discourses some of the possible implications for a contextually and locally relevant intervention programme and further ideas for research are suggested. As the study focuses on contextual relevance, arguments around indigenous psychology, cross cultural research and the role of interpreters are also considered.

University of Pretoria 2007

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