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Race and Racism in Post-apartheid South Africa
Paradise Lost. Race and Racism in Post-apartheid South Africa is about the continuing salience of race and persistence of racism in post-apartheid South Africa. The chapters in the volume illustrate the multiple ways in which race and racism are manifested and propose various strategies to confront racial inequality, racism and the power structure that underpins it, while exploring, how, through a renewed commitment to a non-racial society, apartheid racial categories can be put under erasure at exactly the time they are being reinforced.

Abstract

Apartheid South Africa presented to racist forces the world over a significant model and resource for ideas, ideology, inspiration and leadership. For such racist forces, it provided a model for social organisation in which the different South African race groups - whites, black Africans, Indians and so-called ‘coloureds’ - would exercise their political rights in separate institutions and geographic spaces, experience social life separately in racially-defined spaces, be educated in separate institutions, engage in certain economic activities in racially-defined areas, etc. It was a model for the establishment of a paradise for one race group in a society with several race groups that, if it gained international acceptance, could possibly have led to its application in similar societies elsewhere. The anti-apartheid struggle, however, envisaged a model in complete contrast with apartheid, one too that promised paradise in a multi-racial society. The introduction explores the concepts of race and racism, as well as introduces some of the key elements of the apartheid ‘paradise’, post-apartheid South Africa and the non-racial ‘paradise’ envisaged by the South African liberation movements. Utilising relevant secondary literature on apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, the chapter explores key elements of these periods and the envisaged non-racial society. This is followed by brief descriptions of each chapter in the book, with an emphasis on the core objective which draws the chapters in the volume together: dealing with race in order to demonstrate its irrelevance and ultimately bring about its erasure.

In: Paradise Lost

Abstract

This concluding chapter draws together the various key issues dealt with in the chapters in the volume, Paradise Lost: Race and Racism in post-apartheid South Africa, and outlines the key linkages between these chapters: the various strategies the authors of these chapters devise to deal with racial inequality and the racial power structure, racism in the various ways it is manifested, persisting racial identities, and/or how to bring about a non-racial society in South Africa. Included here are the various ways in which the authors illustrate the continuing salience of race and persistence of racism in post-apartheid South Africa, and the irrelevance of race in ways that can contribute to its erasure. The emphasis in the conclusion is the various ways in which post-apartheid South Africa retains some of the privileges of apartheid for a few, as well as some elements of the non-racial paradise for all. It emphasises that it is only by dealing with the former decisively and totally that the latter can be attained, and race and racism ultimately erased. The authors of this chapter conclude that this is only possible if a decoloniality project is embarked upon in earnest.

In: Paradise Lost

Abstract

People’s perceptions of the causes of poverty impact on their interactions with other people and their outlook on life. Negative perceptions of why people experience poverty can often lead to antagonistic attitudes and behaviours towards the poor. Available studies on perceptions of the causes of poverty revealed that poverty can be ascribed according to three dimensions: 1) Individuals are themselves to blame for the poverty that they experience, 2) Poverty is a result of economic, political or cultural factors beyond the control of the individual, and 3) Poverty can be attributed to some unexpected situations, such as illness or bad luck. It is against this background that this chapter employ data from the Human Science Research Council’s (HSRC) South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) to assess 1) South Africans perceptions of the causes of poverty, and 2) whether different sociodemographic groups such as race (black African, coloured, white and Indian); class (Low, middle and high LSM); subjective poverty status (poor, just getting along and non-poor) and age ascribe to different perceptions of the causes of poverty. The findings from this study show that a large proportion of coloureds, whites and Indians in the higher LSM attribute poverty to individualistic causes rather than external causes. This has major implications for social transformation because these groups are largely in control of the economy and the educational institutions, which are key sectors requiring transformation.

In: Paradise Lost