n Journal for Contemporary History - Redefining defence in the post-apartheid security imaginary : the politics of meaning-fixing




All societies are faced with questions of identity. These questions are not explicitly posed and the answers given to them are not necessarily only in language, but also constituted through society's activities, its institutions and way of being. Stated differently, it is in their social that societies express their self-understanding in the form of embodied meaning. But, meanings are often contested and the fixing and reproduction of one set of meanings and not another are often political, i.e. they involve political struggle. From time to time a political struggle may seem to be won on such a grand scale that the process of re-fixing meanings and reconstructing realities based on new meanings, results in what is almost a traceable ripple effect through all aspects of society's doing.


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