oa Alternation - The Quest for 'Malay' identity in Apartheid South Africa

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



This study examines identity construction in twentieth-century South Africa, where successive white minority regimes attempted to define individuals according to reified notions of race and ethnicity, and demarcate 'race' groups deemed to have essential origins from other similarly constructed groups. Strong sanctions were imposed on those transcending narrowly inscribed race boundaries. This narrative of the life of cricketer, school teacher and Imam Sulayman Kirsten, popularly known as 'Solly', considers the meanings of being 'Malay' in this context. How were racial stereotypes formed and sustained? How important was culture, religion, class and other factors in shaping identities?

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