Prof. Dr. Linda Chisholm

In der Reihe »mittwochs um vier« hat Linda Chisholm (Universität Johannesburg, Südafrika) zwei Vorträge zu Migration und Bildung im Globalen Süden gehalten. Ihr Beitrag findet sich im neuen Sammelwerk »Sprache – Bildung – Geschlecht«.

Zur Person

Linda Chisholm is Professor in the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Her research has focused on the historical and comparative dimensions of education policy, curriculum and gender in South Africa.

Vorträge in der Reihe »mittwochs um vier«

SoSe 2018
(a) Migration within the South 

Current debates on refugees in Europe are dominated by discussions of migrations from the South to the North - with the increasing recognition that understanding the contexts of migration is as significant as their impact on receiver countries in the North. However, these approaches still tend to be instrumentally linked to European security concerns without adequate appreciation of the even more significant migration dynamics in the South. And whereas knowledge of migration and displacement within Africa has advanced, there is little recognition of the politics of reception of migrants within African contexts. These are varied. 

However, since its transition to majority rule in 1994, South Africa has become the destination for millions of migrants and refugees from across the African continent. Despite its progressive legislation in conformity with international norms, South African society has extremely high levels of xenophobia that exploded violently in 2008. The less visible, everyday experience of xenophobia was documented by Jonny Steinberg in his memorable ethnographical history of a Somalian refugee in South Africa, A Man of Good Hope (2015).This presentation will be the first of two, and will sketch the broader context and tropes of migration in this southern context.

SoSe 2019
(b) Migrant Children, Schools and Language in the Global South

Much of the recent literature on migration in Africa has focused on the complex and coercive cosmopolitan strategies that emerge in newly-urbanised contexts with limited state infrastructure or integration strategies. Less attention has been paid to migrant children and their experiences and strategies of inclusion and exclusion. Focusing on South Africa, this presentation will show how the national compact achieved in 1994 created a set of language policies that, while inclusive of South African citizens, in practice exclude migrant children with different linguistic backgrounds. However, the resilience of migrant children in such contexts is also supported by research that demonstrates their achievement-orientation in poor contexts. This presentation will explore the multi-faceted educational and linguistic policies and practices related to migrant children in South Africa, developed at both official level and by migrant solidarity organisations.

Beitrag im Sammelwerk Sprache – Bildung – Geschlecht

Transnationalism, Migration and Education in South Africa


  • Transnationalism and education,
  • migration,
  • South African education,
  • South African history of education,
  • migrant children’s rights,
  • inclusion/exclusion,
  • integration/assimilation.


»This chapter examines the historical and contemporary relationship between education and migration in South Africa and the ways in which migrancy has shaped how the system has historically included and excluded particular groups of people. The chapter approaches exclusion and inclusion/integration as relational concepts. It argues that the education system that came into being in South Africa over the twentieth century did so in the context of substantial internal and external migration. Such migrants were included into a socially-constructed, colour-coded system that erased migrants’ specific histories and reassembled them within the constructed categories of ‘white’, ‘Indian’, ‘coloured’ or ‘African’. Both forms of migration and the system of education changed in post-apartheid South Africa, now systematically excluding and defining migrant children as the ‘Other’, not worthy of rights. The chapter explores the assimilationist character of integration within a formerly segregated system, the barriers faced by new migrants and implications for the shape of the new system. It is primarily an interpretive and conceptual chapter that re-thinks the existing approaches to education, migration, exclusion and inclusion in South Africa, examining its transnational implications. In so doing, it draws on both secondary and primary archival sources.« (Linda Chisholm i.E.)