A review of place identity studies in post-apartheid South Africa
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Place identity studies have attracted considerable interest in South Africa because of its history of separate racial development. However, there is a paucity of studies that have reviewed such studies in the country. This article, therefore, aims to present a selective review of place identity studies in post-apartheid South Africa. A literature search was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Studies published in English between 1994 and 2020, relating to changing place identities as a result of apartheid in South Africa, were included in our search. The search yielded studies from which four key themes were identified these being identity and belonging, social identity and discursive practice, cultural symbolism and group identity, and social inclusion and exclusion. These themes attest to the social construction of place identity, with people forming cognitive and affective bonds within groups. In addition, these themes show that mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion are crucial for identity formation in which the self is contrasted with the other. The studies collectively point to the intricacies surrounding attempts at desegregation and building social cohesion in post-apartheid South Africa.