Do We Stay or Do We Leave?: The Views of UJ Students with Regard to Living in South Africa

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: Booth 55
Oral Presentation
Anton SENEKAL , Sociology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
This paper focuses on UJ students’ views on remaining or leaving South Africa. This is based on the degree of trust students perceive the government of being worthy of and the degree of engagement in the affairs of the country students are prepared to expend in the context of perceived threats to SA citizens. A survey was conducted in 2011 on the basis of a stratified random sample of 1214 undergraduate students on all four UJ campuses.  The data is analyzed in terms of a typology that considers the extent to which people either respond to real or perceived threats on the basis of trust in the government’s ability and willingness to protect their interests as citizens and the derived trust in the future of the country or from a position of distrust in this regard. On this basis they could furthermore either engage the threatening reality or disengage from it altogether. The paper analyses the extent to which patterns can be identified among different groups of UJ undergraduate students with regard to the four possible responses that emerge: Trusting engagement, trusting disengagement, distrusting engagement and distrusting disengagement. The paper concludes by briefly considering the possible implications of the four responses for the long term stability and prosperity of South Africa.