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Title:A virtual community? SADF veterans' digital memories and dissenting discourses
Author:Baines, GaryISNI
Series:ASC working paper
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:African Studies Centre
Geographic term:South Africa
group identity
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/1887/18413
Abstract:More than 600,000 white males were conscripted by South Africa's apartheid regime between 1968 and 1993. Their common experience defined them as a distinct cohort in South Africa's militarized society, then as national servicemen, now as veterans. This paper investigates whether or not veterans still share a sense of belonging to a community despite the demise of the SADF (South African Defence Force). It pays particular attention to whether access to ICT and the Internet enables veterans with requisite skills to exercise influence on discourse on matters of public interest pertaining to the Border War. It also examines what influence SADF veterans are able to exercise on the body politic: whether or not they are able to challenge the imperatives of transformation or reconfigure sociopolitical relations in postapartheid South Africa. The paper suggests that SADF veterans in cyberspace have managed to preserve their sense of belonging to a community - albeit a virtual one. [ASC Leiden abstract]