n English in Africa - Diasporic identity in contemporary South African fiction

Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



Stuart Hall has argued that there are at least two different ways of thinking about cultural identity: "The first position defines 'cultural identity' in terms of one, shared culture, a sort of collective 'one true self,' hiding inside the many other, more superficially or artificially imposed 'selves,' which people with a shared history and ancestry hold in common" (2003, 234). The unearthing of such an essential identity, Hall points out, has constituted an important act of imaginative rediscovery for colonised cultures. In the South African context, it may be argued, the notion of a common and cohesive cultural identity informed, and was consciously fostered by, Afrikaner nationalism in reaction against British imperialism during the first half of the twentieth century.

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