Ethnic Unbonding in South Africa

1644 Words Oct 25th, 2011 7 Pages
Manuel Castells notion of ‘ethnic unbonding’ refers to: the gradual withdrawal certain African-Americans are undergoing, so that they no longer are a member of their initial ethnic group. ‘Ethnic unbonding’ is a process where individuals remove themselves from their ethnic groups, because they are either ashamed or humiliated to be associated as part of a stigmatized ethnic identity.
“So, race matters a lot. But, at the same time, the class divide among blacks has created such fundamentally different living conditions that there is growing hostility among the poor against those former brothers that left them out. Most middle-class blacks strive to get ahead not only from the reality of the ghetto, but from the stigma that echoes from the
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A similar concept of primary local and secondary ancestral identity is prevalent among people of Indian descent. The Bantu-speaking black peoples have long regarded themselves as South African despite the attempts of the white authorities to classify them as less than full citizens or as citizens of ethnic homelands ("Bantustans") between 1959 and 1991. Strong cultural loyalties to African languages and local political structures such as the kingdom and the chieftaincy remain an important component of identity. National identity comes first for all black people, but belonging to an ethnic, linguistic, and regional grouping and even to an ancestral clan has an important secondary status. (

As a result of years of racial separation and discrimination, the majority of South African citizens of which are black, have been severely ill-treated based on the colour of their skin. “A race is a population that shares visible physical characteristics from inbreeding and that thinks of itself or is thought of by outsiders as distinct. It has been used by societies to justify poor treatment of minority groups” ( For decades black people have been slandered and stereotyped by the white superior citizens, to be uncultured individuals. White people were entirely prejudiced against the black people.

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