Internalised shame and racialised identity in South Africa, with specific reference to 'coloured' identity : a quantitative study at two Western Cape universities

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Drawing on Social Identity Theory, with particular reference to racialisation in South Africa, this study looked at the significance of shame for a group of people who identify with the racially ascribed group of 'coloured'. It was also the purpose of the study to determine whether there were significant differences in shame amongst three groups of respondents who identified themselves as 'black', 'white', and 'coloured', as an indication of institutional apartheid's bastardisation of certain identities and the consequences thereof in self-conscious emotions. The sample consisted of 444 students at the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape, with a 'racial' demographic breakdown of 131 'black' respondents, 136 'white' respondents, 132 'coloured' respondents, 11 'Indian' respondents, and 15 respondents who chose the option of 'other'. As the three major groups of interest was 'black', 'white', and 'coloured', and sample sizes of other groups were small, information for these latter groups were discarded. The independent variable, strength of 'racial' identification across the 'race' categories of 'black', 'white', and 'coloured', was measured by a 24-item instrument comprising a 16-item Collective Self-Esteem Scale (Luhtanen and Crocker, 1992) that had been supplemented by 8 items from Bornman's (1988) racial identification scale. The dependent variable was shame and the Internalized Shame Scale (Cook, 2001) was used as a measure of this. A demographic questionnaire was compiled and respondents were asked to voluntarily respond to these three self-report measures in one sitting, administered in their lecture theatre during usual lecture times.

Bibliography: leaves 64-71.