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Erinnerung aus zweiter Hand

Die born-free Generation in Südafrika und ihre Interpretation der Apartheid und des demokratischen Übergangs


Julia Sonnleitner

Nach den ersten demokratischen Wahlen in Südafrika 1994 ist eine Generation herangewachsen, welche die Apartheid nicht mehr miterlebt hat. Sie ist in einem demokratischen Staat aufgewachsen, in dem die Apartheid dennoch in vielen Bereichen nachwirkt. Basierend auf ethnografischer Forschung legt die Autorin dar, wie VertreterInnen der born-free Generation die Vergangenheit ihres Landes interpretieren. Durch zwei neue Ansätze leistet die Untersuchung einen innovativen Beitrag zur Erinnerungsforschung: erstens durch den rezeptions-zentrierten Zugang, der soziale Positionierungen der befragten Jugendlichen in den Mittelpunkt stellt. Zweitens durch das Konzept des Chronotopos, mit dem die Relevanz von Zeit, Raum und Subjekt in der Analyse von Vergangenheitsdarstellungen berücksichtigt wird.

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14. English Abstract

14. English Abstract


The democratic transition in South Africa between 1990 and 1994 caused a shift in political power, institutional change and the reinterpretation of history. Measures for coming to terms with the past were initiated – the most prominent among them being the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. These measures generated new public discourses about South Africa’s history which are expressed in popular genres as well as in academia and history textbooks. At the same time, a long legacy of inequality has persisted the change. More than 20 years after the first democratic elections, a new generation has grown up with a revised history curriculum, new memorials and democratic institutions. They are referred to as born-frees and increasingly come into focus of public and academic attention. This generation knows about apartheid only from transmitted memory, that is, socially selected discourses about the past. If we assume with Foucault that changes in power relations go hand in hand with changes in discourse and knowledge production, how do representatives of this generation construe the past? My data for analysis are semi-structured, narrative interviews with 16–19-year old students of heterogeneous backgrounds from six different schools in Cape Town and its surroundings.

By employing the concepts of stance in discourse and the chronotope by Bakhtin, I could provide an innovative approach to social memory studies. Firstly, applying stance in discourse allows a nuanced analysis of the ways subjects relate to transmitted memory. As the transmission of memory is not a one-sided project of transmitting and...

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