TITLE

Mixing in the Rainbow Nation: Exploring Contemporary Attitudes toward Interracial Couples in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Childs, Erica Chito
PUB. DATE
July 2015
SOURCE
Sociological Imagination;2015, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p13
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
South Africa has undergone radical transformation in the past decades, yet the degree to which the racial landscape has changed is debatable. When considering the state of race relations in contemporary post-apartheid and post-Mandela South Africa, studying attitudes toward interracial marriage is key to understanding racial attitudes. In particular, the discourses used by individuals and communities when describing, discussing, or imagining an interracial union offers an incisive means for critically evaluating imaginings of belonging--race, ethnicity, nationhood, citizenship, and culture. In the midst of global reports of a post-racial society, what intimate racial boundaries still exist in South Africa? And how do the different communities describe these boundaries and navigate (or avoid) the terrain of interracial unions? Drawing from focus group interviews with different racial and ethnic groups in South Africa to answer these questions, I argue that interracial unions are still considered largely problematic and uncommon, yet there are two different strategies for discussing these unions: an apartheid discourse and a rainbow discourse. Race certainly still has significance, yet how it is understood in contemporary South Africa, in terms of attitudes toward intermarriage, reflects the conflicted and contradictory shifting realities of race.
ACCESSION #
111166202

 

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