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<i>To be or not to be</i> &#8216;African&#8217;

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Abstract

Since 1994, the term &#8216;African&#8217; has increasingly become a contested reference label in post-apartheid South Africa, as numerous &#8216;white&#8217; South Africans have appropriated it in self-reference, much to the disapproval of a significant number of &#8216;black&#8217; people. In this chapter I examine what it means to individuals of different &#8216;racial&#8217; backgrounds to identify as &#8216;African&#8217; and how this is communicated and represented linguistically on the renowned South African online forum Thought Leader. The study illustrates not only the pervasiveness of individual &#8216;racial&#8217; thinking and stereotyping in South Africa, but also demonstrates different facets of identities are negotiated and contested within the controversial discourse of &#8216;Africanness&#8217;.

References

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