Influence of the Past on Professional Lives: A Collective Commentary

Authors: Brenda Leibowitz, James Garraway & Jean Farmer

This collective commentary is based on the narratives of the author-protagonists, three South African higher education developers who were involved in political activism during their youth. The commentary investigates the continuities between the author-protagonists' youth and their later professional engagements. Drawing from social realism, the concepts of agency and reflexivity provide a helpful analytic lens. Together, the narratives suggest that these concepts may be more complex when viewed against individual narratives and that some of the differences between social realist Margaret Archer and her critics are worth bridging. Undertaking an investigation of one's own past is beneficial for professionals engaged in higher education development.

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