Abstract

This paper explores the incongruence between white South Africans' pre- and postapartheid experiences of home and identity, of which a wave of emigration is arguably a result. Among the commonest reasons given for emigrating are crime and affirmative action; however, this paper uncovers a deeper motivation for emigration using Charles Taylor's concept of the social imaginary and Martin Heidegger's concept of dwelling. The skewed social imaginary maintained by apartheid created an unrealistic sense of dwelling for most white South Africans. After 1994, the conditions supporting this imaginary disintegrated. Many white South Africans feel so strong a sense of unease they can no longer dwell in the country. Many try to escape through emigration, but carry unresolved questions of identity and belonging to their new "homes."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1978
Print ISSN
0001-9887
Pages
pp. 22-41
Launched on MUSE
2010-07-29
Open Access
No
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