Anchoring Ubuntu Morality

Moeketsi Letseka


This article explores ways in which ubuntu morality might be anchored in the community, the family, and in personhood. It draws on the main tenets of tribal critical race theory (TribalCrit), whose aim is to unmask, expose, and confront continued colonisation within educational contexts and societal structures. The article recognises that Africa is still largely a communal society, and that it is this communalism which defines the peoples' perception of self-interest, their freedom and their location in the social whole. The family is critical as the primary institution of formative moral development, the school of justice, and the medium for the concrete expression of communal values. The central argument of the article is that ubuntu - inclined communities and families are pivotal to the development of personhood given that persons are products of community. In most of Africa personhood is constituted by the interplay between the culturally objectified conception of persons, and the subjectively apprehended aspects of social life through which individuals express their subjectivity in opposition to or in conformity to the conventionally defined roles, rules, and regulations of the habitus. In the last instance the article seeks to insert ubuntu as an indigenous African epistemology in contemporary socio-political and cultural discourses.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p351

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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