In the new South Africa, the formation of a post-apartheid national identity has been constructed by the government in order to unite its people into a thriving multicultural democracy. This study examines the conceptualization of identity by university students and their opinions on the national identity and aspects of social change. Both a quantitative and qualitative methodological approach was used to best capture the nuanced identity choice(s) of South African university students. The construction of the South African identity has influenced the younger generations of South Africans as found within the University of Cape Town student population in this research. Other topics explored in this study include the roles of social and ethnic identity and its intersection with the development of the South African national identity. Finally this study examines how identity is addressed with the goal of equality in a new liberal democratic state with specific attention to contemporary equity policies, such as Black Economic Empowerment and affirmative action.


Gunn, Raymond


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2008 Karin Johnson