The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Moral Eyes

Moral Eyes is based on interviews with university students in four African countries: Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa. Each country exemplifies a distinctive axis of discrimination and privilege—religion, language, ethnicity, and race—though with a good deal of intersectional overlap. The authors use the interviews to theorise about deep issues of injustice, history, and restitution. Through an emphasis on the historical dimension of contemporary injustice, they insightfully expand the familiar moral framework of victim-perpetrator-bystander to include ‘inheritors of unjust benefit’ and ‘resisters’. They also reveal significant differences in how historical memory plays out in these four countries. Global North readers, of whom I hope there will be many, will derive great illumination from seeing familiar issues of social justice discussed in a wholly African context, including a diversity unlikely to be familiar to these readers. Moral Eyes is a wonderful book and an excellent contribution to the literature on moral education, social justice, and the moral character of transitions to a more just society.’

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 176
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2511-4
Publish Year : March 2018
Rights : World Rights

Contents
Foreword
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Note on race terminology

Chapter 1 Studying privilege and injustice: Why, how and from whose perspective
Introduction
Who conducted the research and where
Conceptual theories we draw on
Whose understandings of injustice we retell, and how
Limitations of our study
Structure of the book

PART I HISTORIES OF INJUSTICE

Chapter 2 Race in South Africa: The unravelling rainbow
Introduction
South Africa’s Apartheid history
The rise in critical consciousness among young South Africans
Contemporary moments
Conclusion

Chapter 3 Language and ‘the Anglophone Problem’ in Cameroon: A loveless marriage
Hope and despair in Cameroon
Other identity-based privileges
Language and Anglophone marginalisation: Historical background
Conclusion

Chapter 4 Ethnic conflict in Sierra Leone: A terrifying silence
Introduction
Historical background to ethno-politicisation
What has been done so far?
Other issues in Sierra Leone
Conclusion

Chapter 5 Interrelated fault lines of religion, ethno-politics and language in Nigeria:
Divided by rule
Introduction
A history of conflict and injustice
Context and issues through the participants’ eyes

PART II RESTITUTION

Chapter 6 How is speaking of restitution helpful?
Introduction
Thinking about restitution
Participants define restitution
The actions
Obstacles and impediments
What does it all mean?

Chapter 7 Locating selves and the past in the present
Introduction
The past in the present
Participants positioning of themselves through labels
Conclusion

Chapter 8 The moral role of victims
Introduction
Who are the victims?
Commonalities
The moral role of victims in bringing about justice
Conclusion

Chapter 9 Tracing spider webs: The role of privilege in injustice
Introduction
What is privilege?
The blinding power of privilege: Failure of individual responsibility
Radical reflexivity and consciousness in action
Conclusion

Chapter 10 Ostriches: Knowing but failing to act
Introduction
Knowledge and action
Revisiting the duty of rescue
Bridging the knowledge–action gap: ‘Everyday acts’
Examples of everyday action
Conclusion

PART III A THEORY OF CHANGE

Chapter 11 How change happens: Seeing and acting
Introduction
Ways of seeing
Theory of action: The centrality of personhood
Seeing and acting: The Swartz pentangle
Dialogue that links knowledge and action
Conclusion

Chapter 12 The possibility of emancipatory narrative research
Introduction
Research as intervention in Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Nigeria
Research as intervention in South Africa
Conclusion and recommendations

APPENDICES
Appendix 1 Characteristics of participants
Appendix 2 Information sheet and consent form
Appendix 3 Research instruments for each country
Reference list
Author Biographies
Index


Sharlene Swartz is South African, a deputy executive director at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa, an honorary professor of philosophy at the University of Fort Hare, and an adjunct associate professor of sociology at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She holds undergraduate degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Zululand, a master's degree from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Her areas of expertise are the just inclusion of young people in a transforming society and the interpersonal and communal notions of restitution. Her current research follows these focal points. Her work is characterised by a focus on Southern theory, emancipatory methodologies and critical race theory. Sharlene has authored nine books, including Another Country: Everyday Social Restitution (2016); Ikasi: The Moral Ecology of South Africa’s Township Youth (2009); Teenage Tata: Voices of Young South African Fathers (2009); Youth Citizenship and the Politics of Belonging (2013); and Studying While Black: Race, Education and Emancipation in South African Universities (2018).

Anye Nyamnjoh is Cameroonian; he works at the HSRC as a researcher. Previously, he lectured part-time in the Department of Political Studies and Philosophy at UCT. He taught on the politics of Africa and the Global South and on business ethics. He holds an undergraduate and a master’s degree from UCT. His expertise is social and political philosophy; his current research focuses on social attitudes and restitution, interrogating South African attitudes towards social transformation. Anye has co-authored two journal articles on these topics, soon to be published. He also wrote a journal article called ‘The phenomenology of Rhodes Must Fall: Student activism and the experience of alienation at the University of Cape Town’, which was published in Strategic Review for Southern Africa (2017). His doctoral study will engage with youth movements and decoloniality in South Africa.

Emma Arogundade is South African by birth. However, she is connected to Nigeria by marriage and motherhood. She is a PhD candidate in the sociology department at UCT, where she is exploring issues of morality, racialised identity and restitution in South Africa. She holds an MPhil in critical diversity studies from UCT. Emma has lectured extensively on diversity, race, class and gender, and in community development, at UCT and at the School for International Training. She assisted with editing three volumes of the Celebrating Africa series at UCT and has co-authored two journal articles and two book chapters. Her work centres on identities, feminisms and narrative theory. She uses these frameworks to explore issues such as community development, motherhood and moral identities, as well as the more complex intersection of privilege, oppression and forms of resistance.

Jessica Breakey is South African and a MPhil student in the sociology department at the University of Cambridge. She completed her MA by dissertation at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research. That study focused on the symbolic, theoretical and physical manifestations of fire in the 2015–2016 South African student movements. She holds a BA Hons in African Studies and a BA, both from UCT. Jessica has received several scholarships: she is a Mandela, Rhodes, Oppenheimer and Chevening Scholar, who strives to be a passionate and relevant intellectual. She hopes, above all else, that she will one day see a South Africa that is fair and good. Her contribution to this book is her first published work.

Abioseh Bockarie is a Sierra Leonean who is currently a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) scholar. She is preparing to engage in PhD research in development studies at the South African–German Centre for Development Research (SA-GER CDR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Ruhr University, Bochum. She holds a master’s degree in development studies from UWC and an undergraduate degree from UCT. Her expertise and current research involve assessing the structural issues that limit the economic capabilities of women living in South Africa's informal settlements.

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