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Publication Details

Reference
Gregory, Shaya S. (2006) Clash of cultures’ or clash of contested space:
Moving beyond the entrenchment of race in democratic south africa
Centre for Civil Society : 1-53.

Summary
Since the 1994 elections and South Africa’s advent as a democracy, it has been constitutionally decided that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. All people are now equal under the law. However, it appears that the vast majority of the country’s citizenry are still having a difficult time considering their fellow country persons as equal. Such a dichotomy between theory and practice is insidious and continues to exist because there remains a physiological and physical gap between race groups in the country that is a legacy of apartheid.

The primary purpose of this paper is to ascertain a way for cultures in South Africa to co-exist while retaining their identity without domination, in spite of the country’s history of stratification, because historically, “ [segregation was] frequently depicted… as a compromise between ‘identity’ or’ assimilation’ and ‘repression’ or ‘subordination.’” (Dubow: 7)


This demonstrates how “Space and social difference are intimately related. {How} exclusion of others serves to secure ‘our’ space and therefore ‘our’ identity.” (Bauman in Ballard: 4) In the case of South Africa, the based construction of spaces was, “ … the highest stage of white supremacy.” (Dubow: 6) Indeed, “… The injustice of apartheid was not random or simply spiteful, but was pursued for a series of interlocking social objectives of white privilege, white accumulation...” (Ballard 2004) Thus, all whites benefited form apartheid and continue to benefit from it because material remnants of this beneficiary privilege remains in the possession of whites.

This demonstrates how “Space and social difference are intimately related. {How} exclusion of others serves to secure ‘our’ space and therefore ‘our’ identity.” (Bauman in Ballard: 4) In the case of South Africa, the based construction of spaces was, “ … the highest stage of white supremacy.” (Dubow: 6) Indeed, “… The injustice of apartheid was not random or simply spiteful, but was pursued for a series of interlocking social objectives of white privilege, white accumulation...” (Ballard 2004) Thus, all whites benefited form apartheid and continue to benefit from it because material remnants of this beneficiary privilege remains in the possession of whites.

Hence, this is a four-part examination of the way in which white identity in South Africa, irregardless of whether they were colonist or immigrants, Afrikaaner or English speaking, have been historically constructed, and the beneficiary privilege inherent in these constructions. This is also a critical exploration of the subsequent corresponding segregationist constructions and the larger implications of the legacy of both constructions when attempting to move beyond the entrenchment of race in South Africa

This analysis will rely heavily upon the history of race and racial hierarchies as implemented in South Africa by means of apartheid, because the “ahistorical approach to race does not take cognizance of ways in which the legacy of apartheid continues to shape conditions of living and being in the present.” (Erasmus: 23)

This analysis will rely heavily upon the history of race and racial hierarchies as implemented in South Africa by means of apartheid, because the “ahistorical approach to race does not take cognizance of ways in which the legacy of apartheid continues to shape conditions of living and being in the present.” (Erasmus: 23)

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