Ikasi style and the quiet violence of dreams: a critique of youth belonging in post-apartheid South Africa

SOURCE: Comparative Education
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2012
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Swartz, J.H.Harding, A.De Lannoy
KEYWORDS: CITIZENSHIP, IDENTITY, POST APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA, VIOLENCE, YOUTH
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7090

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Abstract

Drawing on empirical data from two recent research studies in post-apartheid South Africa, this paper asks what it means to be poor, young and black, and belong in a society that has suffered debilitating and dehumanising racial subjugation, actively excluding people from citizenship, and how poverty serves to perpetuate this exclusion. It examines the notions of citizenship and belonging and asks what are the meanings and markers of both in a country like South Africa. It focuses on alternative modes of belonging adopted by young people in this case dreaming and adopting what they term ikasi style. The paper then shows how structural and symbolic violence are complicit in silencing the dreams and aspirations of poor youth, before expanding Ramphele and Brown's notion of 'woundedness' to consider its implications for citizenship and belonging. It concludes with modest recommendations regarding how this state of affairs might be redressed within educational and policy contexts.