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Variations of Ethnicity

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Among all recent nationalist movements, the success of Afrikanerdom stands out as a classical example of effective and enduring ethnic mobilization. Against many odds, a severely disadvantaged farming group managed to capture state power in 1948 and consolidate its grip over an expanding military-industrial complex ever since. The obvious question arises as to whether blacks in the 1980's can emulate the example of their dominators. Can a black cultural revivalism expect to turn the tables on Afrikaner nationalism as this movement did on British imperialism half a century earlier? The role of cultural, economic and political ethnicity is compared in the two cases. Because of a different stage of economic development and a greatly strengthened central state, black nationalism will face much more formidable obstacles.


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Affiliations: 1: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada


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