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Educational Research for Social Change

On-line version ISSN 2221-4070

Abstract

MAISTRY, Suriamurthee Moonsamy  and  DAVID, Roshnee. Phantasmagoria: communicating an illusion of entrepreneurship in South African school textbooks. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2017, vol.6, n.2, pp.101-114. ISSN 2221-4070.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2221-4070/2017/v6i2a7.

In this article, we examine discourses of entrepreneurship manifest in selected textbooks used in South African primary schools in the postapartheid era. While an attempt was made to purge school textbooks of discriminatory subject matter, the extent to which new powerful discourses have replaced apartheid ideology remains unknown. There is little dispute that school textbook content communicates subliminal messages about the world. Using critical discourse analysis, we reveal constituted and constitutive ideology at work in the textbooks under study. A dominant discourse that emerged was that individuals in society are responsible for their own economic sustainability despite prevailing and historic conditions of oppression and subjugation, and that entrepreneurship is a readily viable way to achieve economic emancipation because it naturally leads to wealth creation. It communicates as a subtle yet deliberate attempt by the state to displace its responsibility for the economic welfare of the individual citizen. The textbooks uncritically legitimate the values of the neoliberal market system. In this paper, we urge the development of a heightened sensitivity when teacher educators, teachers, and learners engage with such ideological persuasions.

Keywords : critical discourse analysis; entrepreneurship; textbooks; neoliberalism; ideology.

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