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Transitions from school to work : Local black and migrant youths in a South African mining community

Chenga, Charity, Sarah (2009) Transitions from school to work : Local black and migrant youths in a South African mining community. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94267) (KAR id:94267)

Language: English

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The mining sector in South Africa has its history thoroughly embedded in the migration process and has been described as being the forerunner to the apartheid system. Yet fifteen years after the eradication of the apartheid system it is the mining sector where the old system still lingers in terms of the discriminatory practices in employment and social conditions. The migration system borne out of the discovery of the gold mines in the country still continues with migrant employment peaking at 59% the total mining labour force whilst the country reports a 40 percent unemployment rate with the youths recording the highest unemployment rates since the country gained independence in 1994. This qualitative study utilising grounded theory explored the factors influencing the experiences and expectations of local black and migrant youths in the transition from school to work in a South African mining community. The theoretical framework that emerged from data collected reflected complex aspects of the study brought about by the combination of the transitional period that South Africa is going through, the closed nature and migratory process of the South African mining communities. The theories drawn from data included theories of migration; historical structural approach, the neo-classical equilibrium perspective and the migration systems approach, forms of capital; taking account of the main influential contributors namely Bourdieu, Coleman and Putnam, and developmental theories; focussing on the Capabilities approach by Sen and Nussbaum, and Freire’s education and empowerment theories. The findings revealed that major factors impacting on the transition from school to work related to the gaps that existed between the micro, meso and macro levels of analysis which manifested mainly in the gaps between policy and practice, expectations and realities and the contradictions between globalisation and national interests.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94267
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: employment; migration; South Africa
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2022 12:24 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2022 12:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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