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ETHNICITY IN SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY

Henry Lever
Humboldt Journal of Social Relations
Vol. 10, No. 1, Race & Ethnic Relations: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (FALL/WINTER 1982/83), pp. 239-253
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23261866
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
ETHNICITY IN SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY
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Abstract

Many observers of South Africa are content to conceptualize the society in terms of the polarity of Whites versus Blacks. This over simplified view leads to errors in prognosis and understanding. It is contended that South Africa is a complex, fragmented and heterogeneous society, characterized by cross-cutting social divisions based upon race, language, religion, culture, the likeness of skin color, class, tribalism, caste, country of origin and urbanization/tribalism. South Africa is perhaps the best illustration of an ethnic society. A complete explanation of ethnicity in South African society must take cognizance of a convergence of a number of influences. It is suggested that the racial configuration be considered in the light of Afrikaner nationalism.

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