South African-ness among adolescents: the emergence of a collective identity within the Birth to Twenty Cohort Study

SOURCE: Journal of Early Adolescence
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2008
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.A.Norris, R.W.Roeser, L.M.Richter, N.Lewin, S.A.Fleetwood, E.Taole, K.van der Wolf
KEYWORDS: ADOLESCENTS, BIRTH TO TEN NOW BIRTH TO TWENTY (BT20), IDENTITY
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5008

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Abstract

The authors assessed the emergence of a South African identity among Black, Colored (mixed ancestral origin), White (predominantly English speaking), and Indian adolescents participating in a birth cohort study called "Birth to Twenty" in Johannesburg, South Africa. They examined young people's certainty of their self-categorization as South African; the centrality of their personal, racial, linguistic, and South African identities in their self-definition; and their perceptions of South African life and society today. These results reflect a historical opportunity for full citizenship and national enfranchisement that the end of apartheid heralded for Black and Colored individuals. Black and Colored youth tend to be more certain about their South African-ness, have a more collective identity, and have a more positive perception around South Africa. In contrast, White and Indian youth are less certain about their South African-ness, have a more individualistic identity, and have a less positive perception about South Africa today.