Nation Formation and Social Cohesion

An Enquiry into the Hopes and Aspirations of South Africans

Nation Formation and Social Cohesion: An Enquiry into the Hopes and Aspirations of South Africans, examines different interpretations and meanings that diverse social actors attach to the calls and prospects for nation formation and social cohesion.


The publication contains fieldwork and case studies gathered from one-on-one interviews with residents of four of South Africa’s nine provinces (Western Cape, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Gauteng). It provides insights into their daily lives and details the problems, frustrations, and hopes of residents of some of the country’s most conflicted areas. It links theories of nation formation and social cohesion to actual practises, both focused on the attainment of a just society founded on the irreducible equality of all its members on the one hand, and the factors militating against achieving this, on the other.

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