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Social Location of Attitudes Towards Human Rights Among South African Youth

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In the previous article we inquired into the attitudes towards human rights of a group of 538 Grade 11 students in Anglican and Catholic church-affiliated schools in the Johannesburg/Pretoria region. We distinguished between civil, political and judicial rights, socio-economic rights, and environmental rights. In this article we examine the social location of these attitudes. We arrived at the following profile of students who favour human rights: they are female, come from the official indigenous language groups, and have been raised by parents who have a relatively high educational and occupational level, and are not self-employed. They prefer the ANC to other political parties, and are transethnically and post-materialistically oriented. Their attitude towards work is interest-oriented, definitely not money-oriented. They participate in a political culture of communication. With regard to religious characteristics, which are particularly relevant to their attitudes towards socio-economic rights, they are religiously socialised, involved in religious praxis and have open religious communication with their parents; but they are not intensely tied to a particular denomination nor do they regularly attend church services. At the same time, those who display these last two characteristics reject civil rights. With regard to interreligious interactions, the students who favour human rights, display multireligious orientations and reject monoreligious ones.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Practical Theology University of South Africa P O Box 392, Pretoria, 0003 Republic of South Africa


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