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Educational Research for Social Change

On-line version ISSN 2221-4070


MBATHA, Nosipho; SATIMBURWA, Nokukhanya; MSIZA, Vusi  and  ZONAL, Thabile. The Academentia of ECAs: Navigating Academic Terrain Through Critical Friendships as a Life Jacket. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2020, vol.9, n.spe, pp.31-44. ISSN 2221-4070.

In this paper, we explore our experiences as early career academics (ECAs) and examine how we forged a collaborative, critical friendship to navigate the challenges that we faced in a South African higher education institution. Our inquiry is guided by the following question: "How are we learning to navigate the organisational academic space through critical friendships?" Grounded in the self-study methodology, we use personal narratives to share our experiences of marginalisation. We use liminal and intersectionality theories as lenses to highlight the formation of our critical friendship. The narratives suggest an organic formation of our critical friendship, which has become a life jacket to enhance ourselves and our practice. Through exploration of our critical friendship, we elaborate on the pleasure, power, and possibilities of collaboration among ECAs that might open up opportunities for professional development leading to social change and academic success.

Keywords : Early career; intersectionality; liminality; self-study; critical-friends.

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