After the era of formal apartheid ended in 1994, South Africa’s white Afrikaners have been studied very little, despite having been economically successful in a country where income inequality is one of the highest in the world. Simultaneously, all South Africans have been increasingly exposed to new vulnerabilities. Crime, problems with infrastructure and economic as well as environmental issues have made life in South Africa challenging.
Yet, the Afrikaners have managed to battle these fragilities. Their success can be explained partly by the inherited advantages from the apartheid era and the advantages brought on by whiteness but it does not explain all of it. Social networks might have a pivotal role in their success.
My research questions will study the maintenance of social relations and exchange relations, and boundaries of belonging. I will study these through religion and moral practices and thinking, as well as ideas around protecting the environment, while battling its vulnerabilities.