Implications for Racialism and Non-Racialism in Post-Apartheid South Africa


  • Kevin Whitehead. University of the Witwatersrand
  • Dr J Govender. CANRAD

Venue: VIP Lounge, South Campus
Time: 12 August 2010

Synopsis of debate

The key note address by Allan Whitehead showed how racial categories are reproduced by people in certain contexts, in this case, by contributors to a radio programme on various subject matters. The study was based on a social science methodology known as conversational analysis, which revealed patterns of internalised racial categorisation.

Jay Govender argued that racialism and racial categorisation is reproduced in a variety of contexts, including the family, places of learning, cultural settings and so on. The point was whether people were aware of these realities and whether they were willing to deconstruct these contexts.

While racialised settings could now be easily identified though appropriate methodologies, the key question was whether the same could be established for non-racialism. The concept of non-racialism and the ideal of a non-racial society is still in the early stages of debate and a consensus is still to be established.