Abstract

Afrikaner nationalism achieved notoriety for its power and dominance of the political life of the South African state for much of the latter half of the 20th century. Nearly two decades on from the first democratic elections, in South Africa in 1994, Afrikaner nationalism is a spent force and the question is how to explain its decline. In this article it is argued that one has to look beyond historical and political accounts that focus on the structural factors that enable nationalism and ethnicity. In narratives of the self, young Afrikaners give insights into the formation of identities and modes of existence and lifestyles, or processes of subjectivisation, that indicate the cultural reasons for political actions. Increasing wealth in a growing consumer society has led to the formation of individual identities no longer contained with an ethno-nationalist framework. With the legacy of having contributed to, and benefited from apartheid, young Afrikaners are seeing the possibilities that come with a new, emerging South African nation but also face the challenge of coming to terms with feelings of loss and exclusion. While the cracks of a racist enclosure are widening, the opening of the apartheid mind is still a work in progress.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1726-1368
Print ISSN
0258-7696
Pages
pp. 1-21
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-13
Open Access
No
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