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dc.contributor.advisorSkuse, Andrew-
dc.contributor.advisorLiddle, Valerie-
dc.contributor.authorJagtenberg, Johanna Elisabeth (Hanna)-
dc.description.abstractIn this thesis, I analyse the experiences of white Afrikaans-speaking South Africans, who selfidentify as Afrikaners, and who immigrated to Australia in the post-apartheid era. Based on 16 months of ethnographic fieldwork amongst this group, I centrally argue that they had lost their sense of belonging in their homeland and moved to Australia in an attempt to recreate this. Hence, I use the experience of loss of belonging as my main analytical framework. Loss is defined as the severance of attachment and belonging as togetherness. Since we attach ourselves in first instance to other people, I argue that interpersonal belonging is our most essential need. Belonging is further similar to identity, since we feel that we belong to someone or some group because we identify with them. As such, it is concerned with who we are (and not) or to whom we belong (or not), and thus with inclusion and exclusion. In South Africa after 1994, the study participants had felt excluded in nearly every sense. Since secondary research demonstrates that Afrikaners, as a group, are not excluded in their homeland, I further argue that most of these losses were felt losses. However, whether our version of reality is congruent with facts is irrelevant in our lived experience: we act upon what we believe to be true and thereby create our own reality. Therefore, the Afrikaners’ overall story that, to them, feels as if it is true, became real in its consequences. That is, due to their felt loss of belonging, they immigrated to Australia. When we are faced with loss, we generally react with grief, and grief works itself out through the competing tendencies of trying to preserve or restore the past while simultaneously attempting to recreate or replace what was lost. The Afrikaners focused on the latter by trying to replace South Africa with Australia. However, since our attachments are specific, loss is irreplaceable. Ultimately, grief can only be resolved or made bearable through meaning-making. Since the study participants failed to this with regards to their pre-immigration losses, they were still grieving over their felt loss of belonging to their homeland. Next to this, in Australia, they felt excluded too, due to their migrant status. In fact, the migration was associated with loss and grief as well, since many participants lost, to a considerable extent, their careers, wealth and, with that, their self-esteem. Most of all, they felt bereft of their culture and their relatives. However, since they viewed all of these losses as sacrifices they had made for their children, whom they felt were fully accepted in Australian society, they coped well with their post-immigration losses. Thus, the Afrikaners’ loss of belonging was made bearable through enacting belonging: the participants restored meaning to their own lives through their children.en
dc.titleOut of South Africa and Into Australia: The Afrikaners’ Quest for Belonging in a Post-apartheid Worlden
dc.contributor.schoolSchool of Social Sciences : Anthropology and Development Studiesen
dc.provenanceThis electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
dc.description.dissertationThesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2020en
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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