Identity Capital Acquisition Among South African Youth

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:15
Location: Hörsaal 4C KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Alvina KUBEKA, University of Cape Town, South Africa
The paper will present findings from a longitudinal mixed method study that draws upon James Cote’s (2002) Identity Capital Model to examine race, class, and gender differences in transition to adulthood among a sample of university students in the Western Cape, South Africa.  The goal is to examine how significant contextual background experiences inform young people’s navigation of personal change as they transition to adulthood.  The identity capital model offers a lens from which we can understand identity formation among young people within the context of resources they have access to, by virtue of their social standing on the one hand, and how they acquire these resources as they negotiate their lives in different social settings.  A representative sample of 600 first and second year students between the ages of 17 and 24 from four universities in the Western Cape is studied. Findings from quantitative and qualitative analysis of the first phase of the ongoing study will be presented. In particular, a) the extent and nature of identity capital resources youth bring with them as they enter the university space, b) the different and significant ways they negotiate the acquisition of new identity capital resources, and c) how race, class and gender influence their experiences of identity capital resources acquisition.