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The role of place and metaphor in racial exclusion: South Africa’s beaches as sites of shifting racialisation.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2001
<mark>Journal</mark>Ethnic and Racial Studies
Issue number3
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)433-450
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article examines the rhetoric of racial exclusion as applied to South Africa's beaches between 1982 and 1995, a period during which beach apartheid was progressively dismantled. Using a sample of 400 newspaper articles as textual evidence, we demonstrate how racist rhetoric during this period exploited ideological constructions of space and place. We focus on a set of arguments that constructed beaches as the legitimate preserve of the (white) family and black beach-goers as a threat to this place image. The shift from the old to the new South Africa provides a historical lens through which we view the variable deployment of this familiar rhetoric of transgression and exclusion. Whereas in the 1980s, black political protest was portrayed as disrupting the 'fun-in-the-sun' essence of beaches, in the 1990s a neo-separatist discourse of manners predominated. References to beaches as family places were used multiply and variably to justify racial exclusion and segregation.