The Limitations of Legalism and Identity Labels in Post-apartheid South Africa Africa

Africanus: Journal of Development Studies

View Publication Info
 
 
Field Value
 
Title The Limitations of Legalism and Identity Labels in Post-apartheid South Africa Africa
 
Creator Sauti, Gloria
 
Subject colonialism
post-colonialism
South African
apartheid
race
racial divisions
identity labels
 
Description The roots of identity crisis in post-apartheid South Africa are embedded in systemic failures reflected in the design and content of various legal documents, including application forms for registering a birth, school or university entrance, acquiring an identity document, registering a marriage, employment, and a death. A key requirement in the forms is that individuals identify themselves, based on race, gender, and nationality. Consequently, the information collected through these forms reproduces racial divisions and recreates old identities of the apartheid and colonial past—namely Blackness, Whiteness, Nationalism, or Otherness. Many such identities; including gender, created through these legal documents are distorted, and, therefore, misrepresent the actual descriptions of who the individuals are. As a result, individuals are forced to identify themselves, based on laws passed during apartheid. This article explores the identity crisis in South Africa, where identity labelling seems to be particularly highly racialised and ethnicised as a result of the social classification of humans according to race, ethnicity, gender, and nationality, applied in the colonial and apartheid era. By conducting a meta-analysis of application forms for the registration forms for births, deaths, marriages, school and university entrance, as well as acquiring national identity documents, the article argues that the current legalistic identity imaginings in South Africa are anachronistic to the ways in which individuals might otherwise want to self-identify.
 
Publisher Unisa Press
 
Date 2020-02-18
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
Peer-reviewed Article
 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier https://upjournals.co.za/index.php/Africanus/article/view/6429
10.25159/2663-6522/6429
 
Source Africanus: Journal of Development Studies; Vol. 49 No. 2 (2019); 17 pages
2663-6522
0304-615X
 
Language eng
 
Relation https://upjournals.co.za/index.php/Africanus/article/view/6429/4170
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2020 Unisa Press
 

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