Original Articles

Exploring Young Black Persons' Narratives About the Apartheid Past

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 21, issue 1, 2011 , pages: 79–90
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2011.10820432
Author(s): Cheryl PetersenNorth-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa, Chris VenterNorth-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa, Karel BothaNorth-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa


This study examined intergeneration narratives about the apartheid past through the retelling of 14 young black South Africans aged 16 to 21 (males =6, females =8). A qualitative categorical-content data analysis underpinned by social constructionism, explored these secondary narrative segments obtained via in-depth interviewing. The data analysis yielded 12 themes, which dealt predominantly with their lives under apartheid and the socially constructed understandings and meanings attached to it by the participants. Concomitant with this, participants further reflected their own feelings, interests and the relevance of stories. The research postulated an intergenerational connection in which the content of apartheid stories became interlaced with the youth's own existential realities. Participants articulated narratives of oppression, marginalisation and incorporated an internalized perception of being different.

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