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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Strangely hard natures were bred in the South Africa of that day': rural settler childhood, 1850s-1880s
Author:Dagut, SimonISNI
Year:1999
Periodical:African Studies
Volume:58
Issue:1
Period:July
Pages:33-53
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:race relations
colonists
Whites
child rearing
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=4AC087FBCAE200E15C35
Abstract:This article discusses a particular historical method of reconstructing the origins, structure and reproduction of the racial order in South Africa. Discussion of how people were socialized into the racial order by everyday experiences should include consideration of the most fundamental socialization process, i.e. childhood. The present author examines one set of childhood socialization experiences, that of rural settler children in the later decades of the nineteenth century. The history of childhood socialization is approachable through the memoirs of adults, if it is borne in mind that what is preserved in these sources are adult narrative memories rather than childhood experience in itself. Those socializing experiences which contributed to the development of the adult as a public social being seem likely to be preserved. Cross-racial friendship did occur between white rural children and their black age mates. It is also clear that well before puberty, these experiences began to contribute to the cultural confidence of white settler children and their sense of racial superiority. Moreover, the witnessing of brutalizing disciplinary rituals contributed to settler children's sense of social distance from black people. Bibliogr., notes, ref.
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