Another country: everyday social restitution

OUTPUT TYPE: Monograph (Book)
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Swartz
KEYWORDS: POST APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA, SOCIAL INCLUSION, SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION, TRANSFORMATION
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9457

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

Abstract

In Another Country: Everyday Social Restitution, author Sharlene Swartz introduces the concept of 'social restitution' - understood as the actions and attitudes that everyday people can undertake in dialogue with each other to 'make things good' since 'making things right' is impossible. In setting out an understanding of and an agenda for social restitution, she offers four ideas based on engaged reflection with sixty ordinary South Africans of all ages, colours and classes. First, injustice damages all our humanity and continues over time, and must be understood before we can simply move forward. Second, that a broad understanding of restitution is a helpful tool to bring about change, and that we need new language beyond the labels of victim and perpetrator to talk about our role in the past (such as beneficiary, resister, ostrich, architect or implementer). Third, that restitution should aim at restoring dignity, opportunity, belonging and memory, and so should include not only symbolic but also practical and financial acts. Fourth, that there is something for everyone to do - individuals and communities, alongside government and institutional efforts, and the best way to decide on what action should be taken is to decide together, in dialogue, across previous divides. This book offers stories, ideas and strong theories for how South Africa can be Another Country in our lifetime.