Identity, race, history: South Africa and the Pan-African context

Greenstein, Ran
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To study a society from a comparative perspective is rarely a straightforward matter. A series of strategic decisions regarding topics, time-frames, and angles of observation must be taken before any such project can begin. Since all societies are composed of multiple institutional spheres, and many potential avenues of investigation of scholarly and political interest exist, no obvious way of proceeding with any comparative endeavour is likely to present itself Appropriate angles for investigation are determined by what appear at any given point as relevant aspects of social life, suitable theoretical perspectives, and specific time and space co-ordinates for any particular project. None of these factors are static, and as a result no fixed agendas for comparative inquiry can be established. The study of South African society is no exception to this general rule, and research agendas should therefore be constantly reviewed in order to keep them attuned to shifting social and scholarly concerns.
African Studies Seminar series. Paper presented 12 August, 1996
Ethnicity. Political aspects. South Africa, Identity (Psychology). South Africa