Ten years of democracy: attitudes and identity among some South African school children
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Ten years into South Africa’s democracy, how do school children feel about themselves as part of specific groups, and what is the role of language in their socio-cultural identities? This paper looks at the ways in which two groups of fourteen-year-old Xhosa-speaking and mixed-race ‘Coloured’ South African secondary school learners in a new housing area near Cape Town negotiate their identities through language in a context of rapid social change. It analyses their beliefs and attitudes about the languages and speech communities to which they are exposed.