Power Knowledge Contestations at a Transforming Free State Higher Education Institution: Learning Guide as a Metaphor

Vussy Nkonyane


The purpose of this paper is to examine the connection between power relations and knowledge or truth. Foucault developed the idea of a ‘regime’ of truth. For Foucault, truth/knowledge is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which both produce and sustain it, and also to the effects of power which it induces and which extend it. The status of truth plays an economic political role. Power is produced in (and produces) social relations, and so is closely linked with systems of knowledge or truth; or in other words, with discursive practices. This complex and inevitable drama plays itself out in South African higher education institutions under the context of transformation today. The Author abuses the learning guide as a stage on which the power knowledge relations drama unfolds at two merged historically different institutions of higher learning. Critical emancipatory theory lends itself well to allow a focused gaze on the unfolding engagements between the dominant and privileged group against the dominated, excluded, disadvantaged and marginalized group. The unveiling discourses are given meaning through Textually Oriented Discourse Analysis (TODA).


Dominant and dominated discourses; Power knowledge relations; TODA; Critical emancipatory theory; Historically Black Institutions (HBIs); Historically White Institutions (HWIs); Learning guides

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/5279


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