Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Deevia Bhana

Deevia Bhana works in Education at UKZN. Her interests include schooling, gender, sexuality, 'race' and HIV/AIDS.

In their chapter, Invoking ‘culture’ and sexuality: Black girls in mixed ‘race’ schools in Durban, Deevia and Rob Pattman focus on the ways young people construct their identities. They note the significance accorded by African boys and girls to notions of ‘modernity’ and ‘tradition’, and how they negotiate identities along this axis. They find that young black women are often criticised for identifying as ‘modern’, which is seen as a cultural violation. Their article draws on interviews with 16-17 year old black girls at a formerly Indian school about ‘being young people of their age’. The girls spoke about culture, ‘race’ and sexuality animated ways, signalling the importance of these in their lives. Many girls feel marginalised at school and due to racism from pupils and teachers. But they often invoke ‘culture’ as powerful resources of self-esteem in contexts where they feel subordinated ‘racially’. However, ‘culture’ was also associated negatively as a form of parental policing and control of their sexuality. The article examines how these girls resist this.

Pattman, Rob, and Bhana, Deevia. 'Invoking ‘culture’ and sexuality: Black girls in mixed ‘race’ schools in Durban', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 343-361.