The 'born frees': the prospects for generational change In post-apartheid South Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

South Africa's 1996 Constitution ushered in a democratic regime that brought new freedoms and rights and greatly expanded opportunities for political participation. In 1998, South Africa also implemented a new school curriculum intended, among other things, to promote democratic and other constitutional values. At the same time, South Africa has undergone rapid demographic change as growing proportions of young people enter the electorate with no working memory of apartheid. Given our knowledge of post-regime change shifts in popular attitudes in postwar Europe and Japan, theories of socialisation and democratic habituation would lead us to expect significant pro-democratic shifts in South Africa's political culture, especially amongst the youngest generation, who are popularly known in South Africa as the ‘Born Frees’. Against these expectations, however, survey evidence indicates that the post-apartheid generation are less committed to democracy than their parents or grandparents.
LanguageEnglish
Pages133-153
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

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apartheid
regime
Socialisation
political participation
political culture
population development
constitution
parents
Japan
democracy
curriculum
school
evidence
Values

Keywords

  • democratic consolidation
  • democratisation
  • generational change
  • new democracies
  • political culture theory
  • political socialisation
  • post-apartheid South Africa
  • South African democracy
  • youth attitudes

Cite this

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abstract = "South Africa's 1996 Constitution ushered in a democratic regime that brought new freedoms and rights and greatly expanded opportunities for political participation. In 1998, South Africa also implemented a new school curriculum intended, among other things, to promote democratic and other constitutional values. At the same time, South Africa has undergone rapid demographic change as growing proportions of young people enter the electorate with no working memory of apartheid. Given our knowledge of post-regime change shifts in popular attitudes in postwar Europe and Japan, theories of socialisation and democratic habituation would lead us to expect significant pro-democratic shifts in South Africa's political culture, especially amongst the youngest generation, who are popularly known in South Africa as the ‘Born Frees’. Against these expectations, however, survey evidence indicates that the post-apartheid generation are less committed to democracy than their parents or grandparents.",
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The 'born frees' : the prospects for generational change In post-apartheid South Africa. / Mattes, Robert.

In: Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 47, No. 1, 01.03.2012, p. 133-153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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