Reshaping social identity : a qualitative report on experiences in an interracial median group

01 Aug 2016

A median group convened in Johannesburg, South Africa, is described as offering its members multiple opportunities to reshape their social identities and engage in a process of social learning. The group was one component of a course in group work. Group analytic theory positioned the work within a context that was characterised by transition and social trauma. A richly diverse group composition, which reflected many dimensions of the interracial macro-society, was an important aspect of the group. The group was researched using a qualitative, multi-method research design, utilising participant observation, in-depth interviews and focus groups. These different approaches gave access to the group members’ subjective experiences and meaning-making strategies. The researcher’s engagement with the research process and her own social reshaping emerged as an important dimension of the research. In conclusion, some thoughts on working in an interracial median group in a transformational society are offered.