KEY POINTS OF THE RE­SEARCH

CityPress - - Voices -

It fo­cuses on the process of na­tion for­ma­tion and so­cial co­he­sion in post-colo­nial and post-apartheid South Africa

It dwells on the chal­lenges and the ac­tiv­i­ties made in re­spect of these po­lit­i­cal and so­cial de­vel­op­ments since 1994

It in­cludes a ‘case study on so­cial co­he­sion and com­mem­o­ra­tion of na­tional hol­i­days’, and also posits a ‘pos­si­ble new ap­proach to na­tional hol­i­days’

Draw­ing from lit­er­a­ture that de­fines na­tions as, among other things, po­lit­i­cal, cul­tural, eco­nomic and ter­ri­to­rial con­structs, it seeks to as­sess the ex­tent to which South Africa sat­is­fies the the­o­ret­i­cal pre­req­ui­sites to be a na­tion

How many lan­guages, sets of cul­ture, the legacy of racism and so­cieco­nomic de­pri­va­tion and po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests played them­selves out in the past 20 years and what the prospects are for the fu­ture

The con­cept of na­tion for­ma­tion is used to em­pha­sise the fact that, un­like with the more pop­u­lar no­tion of ‘na­tion-build­ing’, the emer­gence of na­tions is a process that does not lend it­self to ar­ti­fi­cial ho­mogenis­ing im­po­si­tions

A unique and creative el­e­ment was to ex­am­ine the lived ex­pe­ri­ences of com­mu­ni­ties in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try to es­tab­lish how they in­ter­face with one another in their di­ver­sity, how they re­late to in­sti­tu­tions of au­thor­ity and how these in­sti­tu­tions ad­vance or hin­der na­tion for­ma­tion and so­cial co­he­sion

PHOTO: KHAYA NG­WENYA

LONG VIEW Nel­son Man­dela said, ‘We can nei­ther heal nor build if the rich see the poor as hordes or ir­ri­tants, or the poor sit back and wait for char­ity’

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