“Not Tainted by the Past”: Re-Constructions and Negotiations of Coloured Identities Among University Coloured Students in Post- Apartheid South Africa

Posted in Africa, Campus Life, Dissertations, Media Archive, South Africa, United States on 2013-09-14 15:31Z by Steven

“Not Tainted by the Past”: Re-Constructions and Negotiations of Coloured Identities Among University Coloured Students in Post- Apartheid South Africa

University of Pittsburgh
2013
152 pages

Sardana Nikolaeva

The South African coloured identity is a profoundly complex construction that, on the one hand, is interpreted as an ambiguous and ‘in-between’ identity and, on the other hand, its own ambiguity and complexity provides multiple means and strategies of production and articulation within various contexts. This dissertation seeks to examine a production of multiple discourses by post-apartheid coloured youth in order to re-construct and negotiate their identities moving through various social contexts of everyday experiences within diverse university settings. Similarly to other minority and marginalized youth, coloured students produce various discourses and practices as the medium of counter-hegemonic formation and negotiation of their minoritized and marginalized identities. In this sense, coloured students implement produced discourses and practices as instrumental agency to create resistance and challenge the dominant discourses on their marginalized and minoritized identities, simultaneously determining alternate characteristics for the same identities. Turning to the current conceptualizations of coloured identities as heterogeneous, non-static and highly contextual, I analyze two dominant discourses produced by the coloured students: coloured as an ethnic/hybrid cultural identity and an adoption of an inclusive South African national identity, simultaneously rejecting coloured identity as a product of the apartheid social engineering. Additionally, integrating an ecological approach and ecology model of identity development, created and utilized by Renn (1998, 2004) in her work that explores how multiracial students construct their identities in the context of higher education, I develop an ecology model of coloured students’ identity development and present the data to determine what factors and opportunities, provided by microsystems, mesosystem, exosystems and macrosystem of identity development, are significant and how they influence coloured students’ identities production, development and negotiation in and out of the university environments. The dissertation analysis on coloured identities builds on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Western Cape, South Africa, including limited participant observation and semi-structured interviews with the undergraduate and graduate coloured students of the University of the Western Cape and University of Stellenbosch, the Western Cape, South Africa.

Read the entire dissertation here.

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Too Close for Comfort: Master and Slave Relations in the Colonial Cape

Posted in Africa, History, Media Archive, Slavery, South Africa on 2013-09-01 03:40Z by Steven

Too Close for Comfort: Master and Slave Relations in the Colonial Cape

The World Is Robert: An assortment of posts related to an unquenchable thirst for knowledge
2013-04-03

Robert Figueroa

The effects of propinquity on the nature and development of slavery in colonial Cape society were profound. Unlike the large plantations that evolved in parts of the Americas, where enslaved Africans could develop slave cultures without the incessant supervision of whites, close contact between white masters and slaves in the Cape led to constant supervision that created intimately oppressive conditions. Therefore, slavery developed into an institution of extreme regulation and monitoring of slaves for social control with the appearances of benign paternalism, which was weaker in Cape Town than in the countryside.  These aforementioned intimately oppressive conditions entailed a form of slavery mixing physical and psychological forms of domination, domestic affection and the threat of violence, and paternalism and overseers to ensure slave subordination while also creating conditions for more cultural and racial mixing…

Read the entire article here.

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Summer in the Global Village: Trevor Noah, South Africa’s Comic Phenomenon

Posted in Africa, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, South Africa on 2013-07-17 22:24Z by Steven

Summer in the Global Village: Trevor Noah, South Africa’s Comic Phenomenon

The World
Public Radio International
2013-07-16

Mirissa Neff

In South Africa, comedian Trevor Noah is a phenomenon.

A friend who recently came back from Johannesburg and Cape Town, remarked that the 28-year-old’s every utterance, whether on TV or Twitter (where he has nearly a million followers), “creates a ripple throughout the entire country.”

For six weeks in the early summer, New Yorkers got a taste of why.

Noah’s solo show, “Born a Crime,” (which ran at Culture Project in NoHo) references his mixed-race heritage: He was born during the apartheid era to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father.

Much of his sidesplitting routine is devoted to skewering the politics of race, both within and outside of his native South Africa, where his father, who was barred from walking in public with his brown-skinned son, instead watched Noah from across the street, “like a creepy pedophile.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Ethnic Identity Problems and Prospects for the Twenty-first Century – Fourth Edition

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2013-07-13 22:27Z by Steven

Ethnic Identity Problems and Prospects for the Twenty-first Century – Fourth Edition

AltaMira Press
June 2006
436 pages
7 x 9 1/4
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-7591-0972-8
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7591-0973-5

Edited by:

Lola Romanucci-Ross, Professor Emerita of Family and Preventive Medicine
University of California, San Diego

De George A. Vos (1922-2010), Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

Takeyuki Tsuda, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Arizona State University

In this thoroughly revised fourth edition, with ten new chapters, the editors provide thought-provoking discussions on the importance of ethnicity in different cultural and social contexts. The authors focus especially on changing ethnic and national identities, on migration and ethnic minorities, on ethnic ascription versus self-definitions, and on shifting ethnic identities and political control. The international group of scholars examines ethnic identities, conflicts and accommodations around the globe, in Africa (including Zaire and South Africa), Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, the United States, Thailand, and the former Yugoslavia. It will serve as an excellent text for courses in race & ethnic relations, and anthropology and ethnic studies.

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Obama hails Mandela ‘inspiration’ in South Africa visit

Posted in Africa, Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, South Africa on 2013-06-29 19:11Z by Steven

Obama hails Mandela ‘inspiration’ in South Africa visit

BBC News
2013-06-29

US President Barack Obama has praised Nelson Mandela as “an inspiration to the world” while visiting South Africa.

The US leader, who was speaking in Pretoria after talks with President Jacob Zuma, does not intend to visit the 94-year-old, who has been critically ill for nearly a week.

But he met the Mandela family in private and spoke by telephone to his wife, Graça Machel.

Riot police clashed with anti-Obama protesters in Soweto.

The American leader was in Soweto to deliver a speech to young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg.

According to Mr Zuma, Mr Mandela remains “stable but critical”, and he added that he had “every hope that he will be out of hospital soon”.

However, South Africa’s last apartheid president and the man jointly awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Mr Mandela, FW de Klerk, is to cut short a visit to Europe due to Mr Mandela’s poor health, his foundation said in a statement…

…Mrs Machel, who remains by Mr Mandela’s side in the hospital in Pretoria, said after their phone call that she had conveyed their “messages of strength and inspiration” to her husband.

Mr Zuma said that as the first black leaders of their respective countries, Mr Obama and Mr Mandela were “bound by history” and so “carry the dreams of millions of people in Africa and in the diaspora who were previously oppressed”…

Read the entire article here.

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Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of South Africa, the United States, and Brazil

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2013-06-17 01:44Z by Steven

Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of South Africa, the United States, and Brazil

Cambridge University Press
December 1997
412 pages
228 x 152 mm
Paperback ISBN: 9780521585903
Hardback ISBN: 9780521584555

Anthony W. Marx, President and CEO
New York Public Library

In this bold, original and persuasive book, Anthony W. Marx provocatively links the construction of nations to the construction of racial identity. Using a comparative historical approach, Marx analyzes the connection between race as a cultural and political category rooted in the history of slavery and colonialism, and the development of three nation states. He shows how each country’s differing efforts to establish national unity and other institutional impediments have served, through the nation-building process and into their present systems of state power, to shape and often crystallize categories and divisions of race. Focusing on South Africa, Brazil and the United States, Marx illustrates and elucidates the historical dynamics and institutional relationships by which the construction of race and the development of these nations have informed one another. Deftly combining comparative history, political science and sociological interpretation, sharpened by over three-hundred interviews with key informants from each country, he follows this dialogue into the present to discuss recent political mobilization, popular protest and the current salience of race issues.

Features

  • A comprehensive historical comparative study of the major issues of race and nation
  • Combines political, social and economic analysis to break barriers between country studies and issues of race, nation, state and social movement
  • Draws upon archival material, literature, and more than 300 interviews

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Introduction
  • Part I. Historical and Cultural Legacies:
    • 2. Trajectories from colonialism
    • 3. Lessons from slavery
    • 4. The uncertain legacy of miscegenation
      • Implications
  • Part II. Racial Domination and the Nation-State:
    • 5. ‘Wee for thee, South Africa': the racial state
    • 6. ‘To bind up the nation’s wounds': the United States after the Civil War
    • 7. ‘Order and progress': inclusive nation-state building in Brazil
    • Comparative racial domination: an overview
  • Part III. Race Making from Below:
    • 8. ‘We are a rock': Black racial identity, mobilization and the new South Africa
    • 9. Burying Jim Crow: Black racial identity, mobilization and reform in the United States
    • 10. Breaching Brazil’s pact of silence
  • 11. Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective

Posted in Africa, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States on 2013-03-28 13:16Z by Steven

Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective

Palgrave Macmillan
September 2000
186 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches
ISBN: 978-0-312-23219-1
ISBN10: 0-312-23219-5

Mark Christian, Professor & Chair of African & African American Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Multiracial Identity provides an accessible account of the social construction of racialized groups. Using both primary (in-depth interviews) and secondary data, four nations are examined: the UK, US, South Africa, and Jamaica. The author discusses how little attention has been traditionally been given to theorizing multiracial identity in the context of white supremacist thought and practice.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword–Diedre L. Badejo
  • Part I: Theorizing Multiracial Identity
    • Toward a Definition of Identity
    • Multiracial Identity as a Term in the 1990s
    • Historical Theories of ‘Mixed Race’ Persons
    • Contemporary US Theories in Multiracial Identity
    • Contemporary UK Theories in Multiracial Identity
  • Part II: Speaking forThemselves (I)
    • How the Liverpool, UK Respondents Define Themselves in a Racial Sense
    • Parental Influence in the Construction of a Racialized Identity
  • Part III: Speaking for Themselves (II) Shades of Blackness
    • Is Wanting to Change One’s Physical Appearance an Issue?
  • Part IV: South Africa and Jamaica: “Other” Multiracial Case Studies
    • South Africa and the Social Construction of “Coloureds”
    • Jamaica in Context
  • Part V: Assessing Multiracial Identity White Supremacy and Multiracial Identity
    • Social Status and Multiracial Identity
    • Nomenclature Default and Multiracial Terminology
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The cradle to the grave: Reflections on race thinking

Posted in Africa, Articles, New Media, Philosophy, Social Science, South Africa on 2013-03-25 18:32Z by Steven

The cradle to the grave: Reflections on race thinking

thesis eleven: critical theory and historical sociology
Volume 115, Number 1 (April 2013)
pages 43-57
DOI: 10.1177/0725513612470533

Gerhard Maré, Professor of Sociology
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Despite a constitutional and oft-stated political commitment to an undefined notion of non-racialism, South Africans continue to operate in formal and informal ways with ‘race’ as the common-sense organizing principle of legal systems, ways of thinking, social identities, constructing arguments or closing debate, organizational and mobilizing strategies, policy development and execution, and interaction in daily life. This state of affairs is regrettable and dangerous, often questioned and rejected, but objections are waged and alternatives suggested against the tide of societal trends. What the organizing principle of race thinking does is to close the mind to alternative possibilities – of thought, social practice and ways of living. Here I explore an overview of racialism as it permeates and shapes the life cycles of citizens from birth to death. I make an argument for a way of thinking that is necessarily utopian, as one of few options of escaping a social world made in the image of apartheid.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Under the Skin

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, South Africa on 2012-12-09 22:07Z by Steven

Under the Skin

Finch Publishing
August 2012
210 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781921462801

Marion van Dyk

This beautifully written and evocative memoir is a fascinating insight into the lives of her family, living under apartheid, who struggled to create a sense of identity and personal worth. It’s a book of historical relevance in its revelations about resistance to Apartheid by South Africans of mixed race; and it is also a book of social relevance to the debate on racism today, in Australia, South Africa, and elsewhere in the world.
 
Marion van Dyk’s absorbing memoir submerges the reader in the world of South Africa in the 1950s through to the 1980s. Classified as a ‘coloured’ (being neither black nor white) by an apartheid government, she and her family are forced to live as second-class citizens, caught between two worlds. Marion and her family struggle to make ends meet after they are forced to leave their family home when their area is redesignated for whites only.
 
After relocating to a small ‘coloured’ township, Marion attends a school where, despite severe restrictions, her teachers fight tooth and nail to give her an education. She becomes head of a computer programming department, breaking through racial and gender barriers in the process, before emigrating to Australia with her husband and son.
 
Marion van Dyk was a finalist in the 2012 Finch Memoir Prize for this, her first book, the memoir Under the Skin.

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Zakes Mda: The Madonna of Excelsior

Posted in Africa, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, South Africa on 2012-11-16 22:31Z by Steven

Zakes Mda: The Madonna of Excelsior

Muthal Naidoo: Published Books, Plays, Poems and Articles
2011-11-01

Muthal Naidoo

(2002. Cape Town. Oxford University Press)
 
The Immorality Act of 1927, which prohibited sex between Blacks and Whites, was amended in 1950 to prohibit sex between Whites and all non-Whites. Zakes Mda bases his novel, The Madonna of Excelsior, on the 1971 case in which 19 people from Excelsior were charged under the Immorality Act. He traces the lives of Niki, one of the accused, and her children Viliki and Popi, and the effects of the ‘illicit’ activities on their lives and those of the people around them.

Niki, the Madonna of Excelsior, lives in Mahlaswetsa, the black township of Excelsior. She and several other women fall prey to circumstances of poverty and become involved with white men from Excelsior. When the women give birth to white babies, fourteen of them are arrested and put on trial with five white men. But the case comes to nothing; the Minister of Justice withdraws the charges. And there are no fathers of the white babies of black women. This attempt to wipe out the whole event and pretend it never happened may have succeeded in the rest of the country but in Excelsior it lives on in the shame that families both black and white feel, in the many ‘coloured’ children walking the streets, in the unacknowledged connections that they represent. And especially in Popi’s hatred of herself. People call her ‘boesman” and she is ashamed of her blonde hair, blue eyes and hairy legs. She has a white half-brother whom she does not acknowledge and clings to the memory of her black father…

Read the entire review here.

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