Ontological well-being and the effects of race in South Africa

SOURCE: The Oxford handbook of global south youth studies
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2021
TITLE AUTHOR(S): C.Soudien
SOURCE EDITOR(S): S.Swartz, A.Cooper, C.M.Batan, L.K.Kausa
KEYWORDS: IDENTITY, RACIAL SEGREGATION, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL ATTITUDES SURVEY (SASAS)
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED), Office of the CEO (ERM), Office of the CEO (OCEO), Office of the CEO (IL), Office of the CEO (BS), Office of the CEO (IA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11708
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15649
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/15649

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

The concept of ontological insecurity draws attention to uncertainty, instability, and threats to autonomy, as these relate to people' s identities. It has connections to the idea of practical consciousness or the cognitive and emotive anchors that enable people to feel secure. The experience of racism has important implications for ontological insecurity. Racism as an experience profoundly dehumanizes a person. Despite the multiple affinities ontology has with questions of race and inequality, the idea of ontological insecurity has not been used widely in discussions of social difference. The concept can help explore the effects of prejudice and discrimination as they relate to a person or group' s whole sense of being. These ideas are used to analyze data from the South African Social Attitudes Surveys conducted between 2003 and 2016. In the surveys young South Africans report feelings of dampened capacity - a diminishing of their self-confidence. Race was a factor in these feelings; however, it was not determinative in a totalizing sense.