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Dolby, Nadine E. (2001) Constructing Race: Youth, Identity, adn Popular Culture in South Africa. State University of New York Press: Albany SUNY Series, Power, Social Identity, and Education: 1-156.

For modern urban South African youth, the concept of "race" persists and falters.

As apartheid crumbled in South Africa, racial identity was thrown into question. Based on a year-long ethnographic study of a multiracial high school in Durban, this book explores how youth make meaning of the still powerful, yet changing, idea of race. In a world saturated with media images and global commodities, fashion and music become charged, polarized racial identifiers. As youth engage with this world, race simultaneously persists and falters, providing us with a glimpse into the future of race both within South Africa and throughout urban youth cultures worldwide.

"This book presents an excellent discussion of the complexities of race and how it gets acted out in everyday life. It will remain an important book in the years to come." -- Carl A. Grant, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Dolby provides interesting ethnographic details to explore the fluid and shifting ways youth in a South African school work within and against the rigid racial classificatory categories through which they are defined. This work makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how young people are forging new relationships in post-apartheid South Africa." -- Daniel A. Yon, author of Elusive Culture: Schooling, Race, and Identity in Global Times

Nadine E. Dolby is Assistant Professor of Education at Northern Illinois University.


1. Rethinking Selves: Identities and Change

2. Historical Frames: Apartheid, Identity, and Schooling

3. Daily Life at Fernwood

4. Shifting Ground: The Changing Context of Race at Fernwood

5. Creating Race: The Role of Taste in Youth's Production of Identities

6. Borderwork: Conflict and Connection

7. The Texture of the Border: Portraits of Individual Students

8. The Futures of Race

Appendix. Negotiating Place: Reflections on Method, Theory, and Being There

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