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Local beats to global rhythms: coloured student identity and negotiations of global cultural imports in Cape Town, South Africa

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High school student identities in South Africa are informed by negotiations of global cultural flows, local histories, and social expectations. Students appropriate and give new meanings to the cultural flows they use to frame their identities, informed by the local context and by globalisation. Several aspects of these practices are of interest, notably the way in which American hip-hop interpellates coloured students in South Africa, drawing them into particular topographies of globalisation and framing their identity formations and engagement with race. The identities produced remain contested, malleable and incomplete. Understanding these identity formations therefore requires the recognition of the interactions and negotiations of global and local influences.

Keywords: South Africa; coloured identity; consumerism; cultural flows; identity; youth

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2009

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