Strangers but for Stories: The Role of Storytelling in the Construction of Contemporary White Afrikaans-Speaking Identity in Central South Africa

  • P. Conrad Kotze University of the Free State
  • Jan K. Coetzee University of the Free State
  • Florian Elliker University of St. Gallen
  • Thomas S. Eberle Universität St. Gallen
Keywords: integral sociology, ontological dimensions, epistemological modes, identity, narrative repertoire, storytelling, phenomenology, hermeneutics, Afrikaner, Afrikaanse, Pseudo-Boer

Abstract

This article explores the application of an integral framework for sociological practice to a case study of White Afrikaans-speaking identity in South Africa. In addition to the introduction of the framework, identity is conceived as a multi-dimensional phenomenon which is formed and shaped biologically, psychologically and socially. Using the empirical examples of the case study, the socially constructed aspects of identity are interpretively investigated. The stories and their narrative repertoires, structures and contents are integrally reconstructed and analysed by means of an approach that includes in-depth interviews, a hermeneutical interpretation and the contextualisation of these stories within the broader meta-narrative of South African history. The analysis demonstrates that White Afrikaans-speaking identity has diversified since the end of apartheid in 1994, i.e. the self-definitions and self-understandings of White Afrikaans-speakers do not (exclusively) refer anymore to the formerly dominant notion of the Afrikaner. The analysis concludes that there exist three contemporary White Afrikaans-speaking identities in South Africa, namely the Afrikaners, the Afrikaanses, and the Pseudo-Boers.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1501201

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Author Biographies

P. Conrad Kotze, University of the Free State

P. Conrad KOTZE is currently working as Assistant Lecturer in the University of the Free State's Department of Sociology, South Africa, where he teaches sociological theory at the graduate and postgraduate levels (including his own thoughts on integral sociology) and carries out research within the Department's programme "The Narrative Study of Lives". He is a Prestige Doctoral Scholar at the University and is also holding a National Research Foundation Innovation Doctoral Bursary. His interests include phenomenology, the science of consciousness, the narrative study of lives and evolutionary philosophy.

Jan K. Coetzee, University of the Free State

Jan K. COETZEE is Senior Professor of sociology at the University of the Free State, South Africa, and Director of the programme "The Narrative Study of Lives" at the same university. His main areas of specialisation are the narrative study of lives, qualitative methodology and the study of social change. He has published several books and academic articles in these areas and serves on the boards of various international research committees and academic journals.

Florian Elliker, University of St. Gallen

Florian ELLIKER is a Senior Lecturer in sociology at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and Research Fellow in the programme "The Narrative Study of Lives" at the University of the Free State, South Africa. His research interests include the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse, the narrative study of lives, sociology of the local, transformation, political discourses, discourses on migration and qualitative social research methodology.

Thomas S. Eberle, Universität St. Gallen

Thomas S. EBERLE is Professor of sociology and Co-director of the Institute of Sociology at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He has served as President of the Swiss Sociological Association and Vice-President of the European Sociological Association (ESA). He was also Chair of the ESA Research Networks "Qualitative Methods" and "Sociology of Culture" and is still a board member of both. His research areas include the sociology of culture and communication, of knowledge and organisation, as well as interpretive sociology, phenomenological sociology and qualitative methods. In these areas he has published two books, edited nine and wrote more than 80 articles.

Published
2015-01-27
How to Cite
Kotze, P. C., Coetzee, J. K., Elliker, F., & Eberle, T. S. (2015). Strangers but for Stories: The Role of Storytelling in the Construction of Contemporary White Afrikaans-Speaking Identity in Central South Africa. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-16.1.2133
Section
Single Contributions

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