Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-475120080003&lang=en vol. 48 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The invention of the future 2: Language, meaningful information and the invention of the future</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In die vorige artikel is beklemtoon tot watter mate taal in sy volheid die moontlikhede vir 'n toekoms oopmaak. Op hierdie stadium is dit belangrik om te waarsku dat die stroping van taal die mens van 'n toekoms beroof. Om taal in die volle rykheid daarvan te benut is dit belangrik om inventiewe denke daarvoor in te span. Taalbenutting kan baie bydra tot wysheidsdenke, akritiese denke en mediterende denke om die inventiewe moontlikhede wat dit bied oop te maak. Hierdie denke bring ons uit by die konfigurering van betekenisvolle inligting, by die besinning oor 'n toereikende mensbeeld in terme waarvan aan toekomsinvensie gewerk kan word. Die mens as beliggaamde wese wat vibreer van lewe en gees kan nie alleen as individu 'n toekoms inventeer nie. Behalwe vir die noodsaaklike omhelsing van lewe in'n tyd waarin dit soms lyk asof die doodsdrif ons lot bepaal, vra dit ook om kollektiewe aktiwiteite waar kollektiewe intelligensies gepoel word om intelligente gemeenskappe te stig waarbinne liefde, respek, en sorg eerder as blote konsumpsie, verbruik en misbruik die toon aangee. Sulke gemeenskappe kan saamwerk om dit wat oor ons kom op so 'n wyse te hanteer dat dit wat na ons toe kom gesien kan word as hoopvolle moontlikheid vir toekomsinvensies.<hr/>In the previous article it was emphasised how important it is to acknowledge and utilise language in its fullness. The configuration of meaningful information can only happen when it is embedded in this fullness of language. This process constitutes also the possibility of meaningful futures. Language can, however, be abused and denuded of the fullness of its meaning with catastrophic consequences for the creation of meaningful information and by implication for the invention of a meaningful future. A cynical loss of meaning emerges when language becomes nothing more than the application of skills. The loss of language is equivalent to the loss of meaning which is equivalent to the loss of a sense of a future - the ultimate of this loss is manifested in an extreme nihilism. One consequence of this loss of meaning is the celebration of death instead of life. Another consequence of the reduction of language to nothing more than a mundane chit-chat is the collapse into barbarism. When language has been cut off from its past it loses its inventive powers and human beings become caught up in their presence without any hopeful vision onto the future. On the other hand, when language in its fullness is respected the conditions for inventiveness are met. When thought takes language seriously, without utilising it to abuse, to control, or to take revenge it becomes inventive. It opens up possible futures. Inventive thinking is a-critical in nature; it does not want to exclude, or to be negative. It searches for wisdom, for the ability to establish links and connections between the local and the global, the immanent and the transcendent, the past, the present and the future. It adopts a meditative disposition that inspires reveries, imaginations and phantasms, especially with regard to the future. This thought is undeniably committed to a sense of wonder with the ability to see what nobody else can see. In times of underdeveloped, one-dimensional, dogmatic, repetitive and logocentric thought the appeal for noetic thought, which is the real inventive thinking, becomes a matter of urgency. This thinking is fully committed to the configuration of meaningful information and through this to the invention of meaningful futures. The conditions for the configuration of meaningful information, apart from noetic thought, are the highest form of literacy and reading ability, a most comprehensive conception of understanding and interpretation, since hereby meaning is introduced into communities and society at large and is the best evidence of a lived, a living and a lively culture. In this regard, we encounter the ultimate in human achievement. It is doubtful whether the new image of the human person, the so-called "posthuman", as announced and propagated by some specialists in cybernetics, will become an easy and straightforward replacement for this conception of the human being. The thoughtful human being is firstly an embodied being of complex nature and it is highly questionable to what extent human awareness and intelligence, shaped by this bodily complexity, will be comparable to machine "intelligence". The question is whether disembodied intelligence can really be understood as intelligence in the human sense of this term. Will machine "intelligence" ever be able to configure meaningful information and invent possible meaningful futures from the multiplicity of forms, shapes, characteristics and qualities that constitute the nature of reality, or is this privilege reserved for the noetic mind of the human being and human communities alone? Concern for a future emerges from the depths of a living, embodied humanity in its deepest noological, emotional and communal being. The invention of a future relates to life, especially human life and human life is in a very explicit way manifested in the human body. Unless the posthuman maintains a lively link with human bodiliness life will be absent and so is the possibility of a future. Machine "intelligence" will most probably be denied the privilege to design or invent a future for humans because of the absence of life. What should be contemplated and pursued further are the possibilities the kinship of the embodied posthuman with "intelligent" machines offers for inventing a future. We will be surprised by new possibilities of humanness that may open up. Thoughtful orientation towards the future, is not meant for egoistic, narcissistic and solipsistic individuals, but requires the re-invention of new communities, intelligent communities carried and supported by collective intelligence. Collective intelligence can only be established and cultivated by people who care and have respect for one another, where love - love for oneself and for us - reigns. We live in times where love is destroyed, and this liquidation of love leads to mal-adaptation. Modern human beings are in step with consumerist culture, but fully out of step with this "culture of love for the self and for the 'us'". When these qualities of care, love and respect are combined with meaningful information, communities with a new dynamics emerge. Such communities will be able to deal with the inevitable, with whatever may happen to them, with what may come over them or overcome them, as well as with what comes to them. A meaningful future can now be hoped for. <![CDATA[<b>Poetic dialogues with Van Wyk Louw</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Die belangrikheid van 'n skrywer binne 'n bepaalde literêre veld kan afgelees word uit 'n diachroniese beeld wat bepaal word deur sy of haar verteenwoordiging in literatuurgeskiedenisse en 'n sinchroniese beeld wat afgelei kan word uit die distribusie van 'n skrywer se werk, die aktuele bestaan daarvan in akademiese onderrig, navorsing, publikasies, akademiese byeenkomste, die media en algemene publikasies sowel as die produktiewe bestaan daarvan in onderhoude en manifeste, poëtikale uitsprake, vertalings, verwerkings, intertekstualiteit en sitering. In hierdie artikel word daar ondersoek ingestel na die status van die digter N.P. van Wyk Louw aan die hand van die wyse waarop sy werk 'n voortgesette bestaan het deur intertekstualiteit en sitering in die werk van ander Afrikaanse digters. Naas 'n bepaalde opvatting van die begrip intertekstualiteit word daar gebruik gemaak van Lefevere se begrip herskrywing. Laasgenoemde word aangepas om te verwys na dié gedigte waarin digters 'n intertekstuele gesprek aanknoop met 'n voorganger soos Louw as 'n vorm van herskrywing wat verwant is aan literêre kritiek. Die ondersoek het byna 'n honderdtal gedigte deur ander Afrikaanse digters opgelewer waarin hulle gesprek voer met voorbeelde uit Louw se poësie. In die proses is verskillende soorte herskrywings of gesprekke geïdentifiseer wat geïllustreer word deur die bespreking van voorbeelde: kritiese herskrywings, siterings, parodieë, prikkels, huldigings, takserings, kommentare en versbiografieë. Die artikel kom tot die konklusie dat Louw steeds 'n baie sterk teenwoordigheid is in daardie segment van die Afrikaanse literêre veld verteenwoordig deur digter-herskrywers. Uit die bespreekte voorbeelde blyk dit dat die gedigte wat ander digters uitnooi of dwing om te reageer, dié is waarin daar sprake is van 'n sekere onbepaaldheid van betekenis en 'n konfronterende stelligheid.<hr/>The importance of a writer in a literary field can be deduced from a diachronic perspective which is determined by his or her presence in literary histories and from a synchronic perspective which can be deduced by the distribution of a writer's work, its continued presence in academic teaching, research, publications, meetings, the media and general publications as well as its productive existence in interviews, manifestoes, statements about poetics, translations, re-workings, instances of intertextuality and citation. This article explores the status of the poet N.P. van Wyk Louw with reference to the way in which his work is a continued presence in the work of Afrikaans poets through intertextuality and citation. The article makes use of a specific definition of intertextuality, but also adapts Lefevere's concept of re-writing (which normally refers to translation, the editing of texts and the production of anthologies, literary histories, reference works on literature, interpretative studies and literary criticism) to refer to poets' rewriting of the texts by a predecessor like Louw as a form of literary criticism. The reason for this is the somewhat provocative view proposed by Louw himself that a poet carries out a form of literary criticism in producing his own work. In this investigation into rewritings of Louw's work by other Afrikaans poets more than a hundred poems were discovered which conduct intertextual dialogues with poems by Louw. The article identifies and discusses a wide range of rewritings: critical re-writings, citations, parodies, stimuli, homages, evaluations, commentaries and poetic biographies. It is concluded that Louw's poetry elicited reaction from a wide spectrum of poets and that his work is evoked in both high and popular forms of poetry. It seems as if Louw's poetry functions as a yardstick for some of the most important poets in Afrikaans (Breytenbach, Cussons, Stockenström, Krog). These poets measure themselves against his work, they articulate their own views in opposition to the example set by his work and sometimes distance themselves from him to find their own (poetic) identity. It is therefore evident that while the poets who rewrite Louw's work honour him by their response, they also contradict him, differ from him, reproach him and negotiate with him. It is also noted that writers who operate in the domain of popular culture like Koos Kombuis as well as rock-singers like the band Fokofpolisiekar and the singer Jan Blohm rewrite his work. The article finally comes to the conclusion that Louw is still a very strong presence in that part of the Afrikaans literary field represented by poet-rewriters. Although this is not the main aim of the article, a final paragraph speculates about the reasons why Louw is still remembered by poet-rewriters. It is proposed that some of the reasons may be found in the way in which Louw's work is embedded in the canon of Afrikaans literature and the cultural memory of Afrikaans poets as well as in the position of the language Afrikaans and Afrikaans literature within the political, cultural and economical fields of South African society. It is also proposed that the importance of his work as a predecessor for succeeding poets has something to do with the nature of his poetry. The examples discussed in the article point to the fact that it is the poems which feature an indeterminacy of meaning as well as a confronting self-assuredness which invite, even compel, his successors to react by rewriting his work. <![CDATA[<b>The debate about the position of Afrikaans at the University of Stellenbosch: An analysis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Die debat oor die plek van Afrikaans en Engels as onderrigmedium aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch het sedert sy begin in 2002 nie baie duidelikheid verskaf nie. In dié artikel word 'n poging aangewend om die debat te analiseer en vas te stel waar en waarom die opponente verskil. Om dinge kort te hou is drie verteenwoordigers van albei kante - die sogenaamde A-opsioniste en die T-opsioniste -vergelyk. Die eerste groep meen dat dubbelmedium noodwendig lei tot die verdwyning van die swakker taal, in dié geval Afrikaans; dat die Universiteit in werklikheid nie eens die minimum voorwaardes vir die T-opsie nakom nie; dat die dubbelmediumprojek ideologies gedrewe is; en dat dit die belange van die arm gekleurde Afrikaanssprekende studente verwaarloos. Die T-opsioniste is van mening dat 'n universiteit se taak nie is om 'n taal te beskerm nie, maar om akademiese uitnemendheid te bevorder; dat eentalige Afrikaanse onderrig die Universiteit op die glybaan na parogialisme en isolasie plaas; dat 'n multikulturele benadering beter is as kulturele apartheid; en dat die beweging na Engels noodsaaklik is vir transformasie. Die argumente word dan geweeg, en die slotsom is dat waar die A-opsioniste hul argumente hoofsaaklik op akademiese en pedagogiese gronde baseer, die T-opsioniste se benadering veral ideologies is. Daar word ook bevind dat die T-opsie op Stellenbosch sodanig toegepas word dat die eindproduk waarskynlik eerder 'n eentalige Engelse Stellenbosch is.<hr/>The debate about the place of Afrikaans and English as mediums of instruction at the University of Stellenbosch has been generating more heat than light since its beginning in 2002. In this paper, an attempt is made to analyse the debate and to establish where and why the protagonists differ. For reasons of brevity, three representatives of both sides - those who fight for Afrikaans as the sole pre-graduate medium of instruction and those who are in favour of bilingual instruction in Afrikaans and English respectively - are compared. They are, on the one hand, Professors Hermann Giliomee and Pieter Kapp (both retired historians) and Mr Christo van der Rheede (CEO of the Foundation for Empowerment through Afrikaans), and on the other Professors Chris Brink and Fanie Cloete (Rector at the time of the debate and political scientist respectively), as well as Dr Edwin Hertzog (Chairman of the University Council). The first group maintains on the strength of research in South Africa and elsewhere in the world that double medium necessarily leads to the demise of the weaker language, in this case Afrikaans; that the University in fact does not even practise the minimum conditions for bilingualism in the class room; that the bilingual project is ideologically driven; and that it neglects the interests of the poor (Coloured) Afrikaans speaking students. The second group is of the opinion that a university's task is not to protect a language, but to foster academic excellence; that unilingual Afrikaans instruction places the university on a slippery slope towards parochialism and isolation; that a multicultural approach is better than cultural apartheid; and that the move towards English is necessary for racial transformation, given South Africa's apartheid past. The arguments are then weighed, and it is found that while the "unilingualists" base their arguments in the main on academic and pedagogic grounds, the "multiculturalists' " approach is largely ideological. The two sides therefore reason on different levels, which also explains why almost no middle ground could be reached during the debate. It is also established that the bilingual approach at Stellenbosch is practised in such a way that the end product is, more likely than not, a unilingual English situation. It appears that the "unilingualists" are academically on more solid ground than the "multiculturalists". <![CDATA[<b>The role of language regarding the world of business in South Africa: A study in the Free State and the Northern Cape Province</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Die oogmerk met hierdie artikel is om die resultate van 'n ondersoek na die taalbehoeftes en voorkeure van kliënte/verbruikers in die besigheidsomgewing van die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap sistematies en empiries weer te gee binne die konteks van 'n veranderende veeltalige en multikulturele Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing. Die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewingsisteem beleef die afgelope twee dekades intense sosiale veranderings, wat taalnormverskuiwings meebring (Roux 2001:1). Dit kom vir die doeleindes van hierdie studie daarop neer dat veranderinge in die besigheidsisteme en kliënte se taalbehoeftes en -voorkeure in die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap moontlik mag plaasvind as gevolg van die dinamiese omgewing waarin hulle hulself bevind en die feit dat daar tans elf amptelike tale is. Anders as wat Burger in 2001 bevind het, huldig die Afrikaanssprekers in die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap gedurende 2005-2006 nie dieselfde intense sentiment jeens Afrikaans nie. Hierdie ondersoek wys ook uit dat Engelssprekers minder geneë is om in 'n ander taal bedien te word as Afrikaanssprekers. Die koopkrag in die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap is tans grootliks in die hande van jong Afrikaanssprekers wat al meer geneig is om in Engels bedien, ingelig en vermaak te wil word alhoewel Afrikaans nog steeds 'n beduidende rol as voorkeurtaal in die besigheidswêreld speel. Afrikaanssprekers verteenwoordig egter nog steeds die grootste huistaalgroep (42,5%), alhoewel hulle nie die grootste etniese groep is nie, met die Sothosprekers in die tweede plek (26,9%). Afrikaanssprekers geniet in 'n geringe mate die grootste verteenwoordiging in die hoogste inkomstekategorie, en inkomste is redelik eweredig versprei in al die taal- en inkomstegroeperings. Bogenoemde inligting het tot bevindings gelei maar het ook vrae laat ontstaan wat antwoorde soek binne 'n nasionale opset.<hr/>The purpose of this article is to report on a research project regarding the language needs and the language of preference in the business world in the Free State and the Northern Cape. The research was done in a systematic and empirical way within the context of a rapidly changing and complex South African environment. Data for these two provinces, whose population represents 7,1% of the total household expenditure in South Africa as reported by Duvenhage (2000), were analysed collectively. These two provinces are characterised by their large Afrikaans speaking population. Previous findings of language audits were kept in mind as well as the ongoing heated debates regarding language issues in South Africa. A literature survey was undertaken as a background to this study. Previous studies showed that Afrikaans speaking communities represent the strongest buying power in South Africa and that they are inclined to "open their pockets" to businesses that speak their language. This empirical study, however, brings new findings and tendencies to the fore that have practical implications regarding the world of business in the regions mentioned and it poses related questions that need to be investigated. Some of the findings were that Tswana speakers became more inclined to being served in Afrikaans than a few years earlier. Afrikaans speakers on the other hand seem to feel more comfortable being served in English when they visit restaurants or when they make use of airlines than a few years ago. Although English dominates the business world, respondents showed that they prefer to be entertained in their home language when educated by means of the radio and television and when making use of taxis for transport purposes. The study showed that respondents who visited businesses where the questionnaires were distributed, were mainly black and coloured women between eighteen and forty years of age. Although Afrikaans represents the biggest home language group in the areas because of the large number of coloured people in the Northern Cape and the fact that some Sotho speakers use Afrikaans as their home language, English proved to have a slight advantage over Afrikaans in being the language of preference in the business environment in the Free State and the Northern Cape. Literature studies show that there is a great shift in income in South Africa with regard to the different language groups and that black communities currently represent almost 50% of income while their earnings in 1960 were a mere 23,3% (Van Wyk 2005). This shift may have an effect on language preferences in the business world. The global context of development in world languages should also be kept in mind when questions are posed regarding the language audit in the Free State and the Northern Cape. Afrikaans speaking respondents represented the largest group in the income bracket above R7 501. Even though it is a fact that language has become politicized in the South African environment during the past decades and that it still causes a ripple effect on the South African system, ideological matters are not discussed, but are kept in mind regarding the interpretation of data within the context of an increasingly complex dynamic society. <![CDATA[<b>Is the concern with quality of life worthwhile?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In hierdie artikel word die sorg om lewenskwaliteit aan 'n kritiese analise onderwerp. Aandag word geskenk aan hoe hierdie sorg opduik in bio-etiese diskussies soos die Terry Schiavo-geval. Aandag word geskenk aan die wyse waarop die begrip "quality adapted life years" (QALY's) inhoud gee aan die begrip lewenskwaliteit, en aan hoe dit gebruik word om besluite oor toegang tot, byvoorbeeld, intensiewe eenhede te fasiliteer. David Benatar se argument dat om te lewe, is om skade op te doen, en dat dit daarom beter is vir alle lewe om te verdwyn, word aan 'n kritiese analise onderwerp. Uiteindelik kom die skrywer tot die gevolgtrekking dat, vanweë die vervlietende en onstabiele betekenisse wat mense geneig is om aan die begrip "lewenskwaliteit" te heg, dit futiel is om deurslaggewende inhoud aan dié begrip te probeer gee. Dit is van veel meer waarde om ons sorge te maak oor die begrip "lewensin" as "lewenskwaliteit". Dit word aangetoon dat die lewens van mense waaroor daar weinig twyfel is dat hule lewens veel sin gehad het, in die meeste gevalle min lewenskwaliteit gehad het. 'n Argument word gekonstrueer wat aantoon dat 'n sinvolle lewe 'n lewe is wat juis min gesteur is oor kwaliteit en wat in hoofsaak bestaan uit die beskikbaarstelling van sigself aan die belange van ander.<hr/>This article investigates the question as to whether the concern with "quality of life" is worthwhile. It is well known that quality of life issues are quite prominent in the field of Bioethics, where it normally crops up in situations where questions concerning possible euthanasia or physician assisted suicide are raised. The Terry Schiavo affair is a case in point. In health care management, quality of life issues are often related to calculations of so-called QALY's or "quality adapted life years". QALY's are indicative of a blatantly utilitarian management tool in health care systems, as formulated by Thompson: "QALY's provide a common currency to assess the extent of the benefits gained from a variety of interventions in terms of health-related quality of life and survival for the patient. When combined with the cost of providing the interventions, cost-utility ratios result; these indicate the additional costs required to generate a year of perfect health (one QALY). Comparisons can be made between interventions, and priorities can be established based on those interventions that are relatively inexpensive (low cost per QALY) and those that are relatively expensive (high cost per QALY)" (as quoted by Rapley 2003: 143). QALY's and related concepts that are utilised to establish "quality of life" and the extent to which such notions can help us to make difficult decisions in the clinical setting, are briefly discussed. It is then pointed out that, in terms of the acceptance of the so-called "Pollyanna Principle", people are often under the impression that their lives have more worth than is actually the case. Quality of life is no necessity in view of the evolutionary requirements of human survival. This is one of the reasons why the search for political policy in terms of concerns about "the general/public interest" constitutes problems, as has been argued by Karl Popper. The notion of "the general interest" presupposes that people can indeed agree on a standard of life quality that is acceptable to all, and that is highly debatable. The author also discusses aspects of David Benatar's recent book Better never to have been, in which it is argued that existence is always a harm and that the extinction of sentient life is, consequently, the only moral desideratum. Attention is paid to Benatar's argument in connection with the alleged "asymmetry of (the presence and absence) of pain and pleasure", and the way Benatar adapts traditional utilitarianism in this respect. This leads to a stance on abortion that is "pro death", in contradistinction to the more well-known "pro-life" stance. The author's conclusion is that the concern for quality of life is, in the end, quite futile; it is impossible to expect that consensus on the requirements of life quality could ever be found, mainly because the content bestowed on this concept is so very subjective. It is much more prudent to concern oneself with the question, not about the quality of life, but rather of the meaning of life. A meaningful life is one with a plot or a focus that can be reconstructed in a narrative - a narrative not always construed by the author of a life, but often by other people, for example descendants of the person. Examples of lives that must, without doubt, be regarded as very meaningful, though often devoid of much quality, are discussed in the article. Specific examples include Julius Caesar, Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt and Nelson Mandela. An argument is developed which claims that the quest for meaning in life is directly proportional to the extent to which one's life is devoted, not to one's own interests, but to the interests of others. <![CDATA[<b>F.A. van Jaarsveld's <em>The awakening of Afrikaner nationalism</em> after fifty years</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en F.A. van Jaarsveld word as een van Suid-Afrika se vernaamste twintigste-eeuse historici beskou en sy studie van 1957, Die ontwaking van die Afrikaanse nasionale bewussyn, 1868-1881, as een van sy belangrikste werke. Hierdie boek, wat ook in Engels vertaal is, is lank in Suid-Afrika en in die buiteland aanvaar as die belangrikste studie oor die oorsprong van Afrikanernasionalisme. Sedertdien het daar 'n aantal wetenskaplike werke verskyn waarin beskouinge gehuldig word wat in verskeie opsigte van dié van Van Jaarsveld verskil. Hierdie werke word kortliks bespreek en daar word aangedui dat hul interpretasies in baie gevalle beïnvloed is deur algemene teorieë oor die aard van nasionalisme. Daar word in die artikel tot die slotsom gekom dat Van Jaarsveld se werk nie as verouderd afgemaak kan word nie. Inteendeel, dit bly een van enkele goed nagevorste studies oor vroeë Afrikanernasionalisme en is steeds van groot waarde, ook binne die konteks van huidige invloedryke teorieë oor nasionalisme.<hr/>F.A. van Jaarsveld is usually regarded as one of the most prominent South African historians of the twentieth century. In 1957 he published a monograph entitled Die ontwaking van die Afrikaanse nasionale bewussyn, 1868-1881 of which an English translation, The awakening of Afrikaner nationalism, appeared in 1961. For many years this book has been regarded by scholars of South African history as the major study on the origin of Afrikaner nationalism.Van Jaarsveld's contribution to historical writing has been discussed and evaluated by several scholars, but, although some of these academics refer to The awakening of Afrikaner nationalism as his most important contribution none of them provide an extensive discussion of this monograph. Since 1957 a number of scholars have been researching the topic of Afrikaner nationalism. This has led to new interpretations on its origin and early phase. The purpose of this article is to ascertain to what extent changing views of nationalism, and particularly of Afrikaner nationalism, have influenced the value of van Jaarsveld's book and whether it can still be regarded as the major study on this topic. Van Jaarsveld's use of the expression "awakening of nationalism" indicates that he was influenced by the views of nineteenth century German philosophers on the character of nations, but it is also apparent from his book that he was familiar with the studies of early twentieth century theorists of nationalism, such as Hans Kohn. Although elements of an Afrikaner nationalist interpretation of history appear in some of van Jaarsveld's writings, in The awakening of Afrikaner nationalism he describes and discusses nationalism, and also Afrikaner nationalism, from a critical perspective. He views nationalism as mainly a political phenomenon and argues that Afrikaner nationalism originated during the period 1868-1881 as a reaction to British imperialism in South Africa. However, Afrikaans historians such as J.J. Oberholzer and M.C.E. van Schoor maintain that the origin of Afrikaner nationalism dates back to the early nineteenth century. There are strong indications that their interpretations are influenced by an Afrikaner nationalist view of history. On the other hand there are a number of academics, inter alia Isabel Hofmeyr and Dan O'Meara, who argue that Afrikaner nationalism did not exist before the beginning of the twentieth century. Hermann Giliomee is of the opinion that the whole period 1870-1915 should be seen as the period of the origin and early development of Afrikaner nationalism, but that the years after 1900 were the crucial years in the formation of Afrikaner nationalism. It would appear that the scholars who regard the first decades of the twentieth century as the period when Afrikaner nationalism was formed are mainly influenced by theories that explain nationalism in the light of economic factors and the development of capitalism. Among these writers it is only Giliomee who has extensively studied the problem of the origin of Afrikaner nationalism. Although the theories of nationalism on which his study is based, especially the theories of Ernest Gellner and Tom Nairn, are still influential, they are not generally accepted. There is no consensus among theorists whether nationalism should be primarily regarded as an ideology, an idea or a political movement. Some of them emphasize the role of cultural and intellectual factors while others highlight the importance of political aspects. The work of John Breuilly, for instance, is regarded by recent writers on nationalism as an important contribution to the debate on the origin and nature of nationalism. Similar to van Jaarsveld Breuilly sees nationalism as a political phenomenon and emphasizes the role of political factors in the origin and development of nationalism. I would argue, therefore, that van Jaarsveld's book can not simply be dismissed as being outdated. On the contrary, it is one of but a few well researched studies on early Afrikaner nationalism and, regarded within the context of current scientific views of nationalism, it remains a valuable contribution to South African historical writing. <![CDATA[<b>Values as a cultural aspect of the Afrikaner</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Die toewysing van 'n spesifieke kultuur of kulturele kenmerke aan 'n groep ten einde dit te kan identifiseer, is 'n algemene verskynsel in die antropologie. Die kern, in kort, van waaroor dit gaan, is dat identiteit en 'n spesifieke kultuurgroep se eiesoortige kultuur gewoonlik komplementerend teenoor mekaar staan. Ofskoon antropoloë verskil oor die aard en betekenis van kultuur en kultuurgrense, verteenwoordig die idee dat kultuur en identiteit gebaseer is op en geïntegreer word deur gedeelde, fundamentele waardes, 'n algemene antropologiese aanname. In aansluiting hierby word waardes dan ook in hierdie artikel gebruik as die invalshoek om die Afrikaner se kultuur en identiteit te belig binne 'n pre-1994-konteks asook 'n post-1994-konteks. Dit bring in die eerste plek mee dat die begrip "waardes", asook die koppeling daarvan aan kultuur en identiteit, bespreek sal word. Die herstrukturering en transformasie van die breër Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing, plus die onafwendbare een-en-twintigste-eeuse kragte van globalisering en postmodernisme, het inderdaad die era van nihilisme vir die Afrikaner laat aanbreek en sy meesterwaarde onder druk geplaas. De Klerk (1979:115) se opmerking: "As die Christelike verwerp, verwater of verdring word, bedreig dit die kern van die Afrikaner se lewensopvatting ", is bewaarheid. Die impak van die disintegrasie van die Afrikaner se meesterwaarde is oral duidelik sigbaar. Hierdie disintegrasie van die Afrikaner se meesterwaarde, asook die gepaardgaande verandering in die Afrikaner se waarde-oordeel in 'n postapartheid en geglobaliseerde Suid-Afrika, word vervolgens in hierdie artikel beskryf. <![CDATA[<b>A possible alternative approach to learner discipline</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Die konvensionele benadering tot dissipline in skole het klaarblyklik verouderd geraak in verskeie wêrelddele, insluitend Suid-Afrika, onder meer vanweë die postmoderne tydgees wat in die afgelope drie tot vier dekades homself meester gemaak het van mense se mentaliteit. Die nagevolge van die anti-apartheidstryd en die aanbreek van 'n menseregtekultuur in 1994 het ook bygedra tot die oproep om 'n nuwe benadering tot die handhawing van dissipline in skole. Hoewel die kerneienskappe van dissipline en opvoeding in wese dieselfde gebly het, het dit raadsaam geraak om die daadwerklike handhawing van dissipline ietwat anders te benader. Die hedendaagse leerder in die skool is 'n meer volwasse konsument in die karnavalagtige postmoderne omgewing as kinders in vorige bedelings. Hierdie insig bring mee dat opvoeders, insluitend onderwysers, meer gerig moet wees op die konstruktiewe besig-hou van die leerders deur middel van sinvolle aktiwiteite wat by die tydgees pas. Dit beteken onder meer dat hulle op kreatiewe maniere "vermaak" moet word, onder meer met behulp van nuwe tegnologiese middele wat tot almal se beskikking is. In die proses moet opvoeders eerder fasiliteerders van leergeleenthede word as dispenseerders van<hr/>Learner discipline in South African schools as well as in schools in other parts of the world is clearly not of the required standard. Educators, in the form of parents and teachers, find themselves constantly confronted with the problem of how to eradicate the problem and restore order to schools and classrooms. The problem also evokes other questions, such as: What is "discipline " and what does it entail? What is the nature of the spirit of the times in which young people have to be educated nowadays? To what extent has the new constitutional dispensation in South Africa dovetailed with the spirit of the times? In what respect does the conventional approach to discipline in educational contexts differ from the "new" approach? The following thesis was formulated, based on several empirical investigations, a study of the literature and on philosophical reflection: Learner discipline can be restored and improved in schools if educators connect, in a "manner that isjustifiable, in principle", with the spirit of the times, and if they interpret the applicable legal framework in terms of this approach. The main focus in this article is on the postmodern spirit of our times, in other words the prevalent views and conceptions about the world and life, as well as on the legal framework within which discipline has to be maintained in schools. Postmodernism provides the backdrop against which the proposed "new" approach to the maintenance of discipline has to be brought to bear. Postmodernism as such cannot be uncritically accepted as a suitable context for the maintenance of learner discipline in schools, however. The postmodern approach tends to over-emphasize, for instance, certain anthropological aspects. By the same token, the human rights culture, which forms the legal framework for education and schooling in many modern societies, cannot be accepted uncritically. Although the focus in this article is not on the didactical or educational-psychological aspects of teaching and learning but rather on the principles of effective academic instruction, it is contended that these principles should be adhered to in schools and in instruction as a prerequisite for the attainment of good discipline. It is furthermore implicitly accepted that good relationships between educators and learners, dealing with delinquent behaviour in a pupil-specific manner and timely intervention should be recognised as measures for coping with poor school discipline. The same applies to the whole-school behaviour support approach. Apart from these measures that might be appropriate for purposes of procuring effective education and of restoring learner discipline in schools, educators also need to follow a "postmodern strategy". By following this strategy, that is one that embraces not only all the interventions and strategies mentioned above but also tunes in to the postmodern spirit of our times, interventions such as formal violence prevention or reduction programmes, the banning of "difficult learners" and the "refer and remove philosophy" can be pre-empted. Educators' focus should not be on delinquent behaviour as such but rather on understanding the postmodern attitude of learners and, in view of that insight, on guiding their learners towards more disciplined conduct. This "discipline" should take the form of "discipleship". The legal framework, especially the human rights culture, as well as insight into the postmodern spirit allows educators to apply the following strategy as a means of restoring learner discipline in the sense of "discipleship": 1. Educators should relinquish the conventional approach to the maintenance of order and discipline in schools. The situation analyses of postmodern philosophers such as Michel Foucault and others have shown that these approaches are no longer adequate. Because of the inertia factor in education, educators only now (after three to four decades of postmodernism) seem to begin to understand the shortcomings of the conventional approach. 2. Educators should keep abreast of the postmodern spirit which forms the context of education in our times. They have to understand the "carnivalesque" entertainment-seeking attitude of young people, and approach the process of "disciplining" their learners accordingly: learners have to be kept constructively busy with "entertaining" and "amusing" learning activities. They should devise new methods for achieving this. (Also see 5 below.) 3. Educators should furthermore avail themselves of the possibilities inherent in Social Constructivism. People nowadays tend to construct meaning or sense for themselves. Learning content has to be offered in forms that will enable learners to understand the givens in reality which they can process for the purpose of creating sense and meaning for themselves. Learning opportunities should, therefore, be cast in forms that would promote creative and constructive social interactions in the classroom. 4. Educators should also be mindful of the fact that the postmodern spirit has not affected the essential features of education. It is the learners who have developed a mindset that differs markedly from the rationalistic-deterministic approach associated with modernism; education as such has remained essentially unaffected. The learners have become rather more mature "consumers" in the "carnival of life". As a result educators have to change their own roles from those of dispensers of knowledge and of educational norms and values to those of facilitators of learning opportunities. This role change does not, however, affect the validity of the essential features of education: education will always involve guiding, unlocking, enabling and the making of disciples or followers of the learners as educands. Especially this last feature of education is of great importance: educators should themselves provide examples that can be emulated by their learners; they should demonstrate to their learners how one makes sense and gives meaning to experiences in a postmodern environmental and social context. Teaching and learning should become more of a co-operative enterprise than ever before. 5. Educators should make full use of new technological inventions and possibilities. They should realize that their options for maintaining discipline have increased rather than diminished since the introduction of a human rights culture and the banning of (physical) punishment. Educators (also in relatively poor communities) should avail themselves of the possibilities provided by cell phones, cd's, dvd's, ipods, MP3 players and the Internet as well as other recently developed teaching aids. They should place more of the pedagogical responsibility on the shoulders of their learners. The legal status accorded to children in South Africa and indeed worldwide makes this eminently possible. <![CDATA[<b>Does a discipline crisis exist in South African schools? Experience of educators</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Navorsing oor die probleem van leerderdissipline aan Suid-Afrikaanse skole is al vanuit 'n verskeidenheid perspektiewe onderneem, maar 'n sterk opvoederperspektief ontbreek steeds. Die feit dat opvoeders dissiplineprobleme eerstehands ervaar en dit moet hanteer maak 'n opvoedersperspektief noodsaaklik. Die doel van dié navorsing is daarom die daarstelling van sodanige opvoedersperspektief op leerderdissipline in 'n spesifieke teikenarea. 'n Literatuurstudie en 'n empiriese ondersoek is onderneem ten einde te bepaal hoe opvoeders in Gauteng, die Vrystaat en Noordwesprovinsie leerderdissipline by hul skole beleef. Respondente het gerapporteer dat minder ernstige dissiplineprobleme by hul skole en binne hul klasse 'n weeklikse verskynsel is, en het aangedui dat ernstige vorme van wangedrag, soos vandalisme, diefstal en geweld, maandeliks voorkom. Die metodes wat opvoeders gebruik en die effek van leerderdissipline op opvoeders word geanaliseer in die artikel en ten slotte word aanbevelings vir praktykverbetering gemaak.<hr/>From recently published research it appears as if learner discipline at South African schools is a problem. While the issue of learner discipline at South African schools has been researched from a variety of perspectives (including the experiences of school principals, the experiences of learners), a clear, distilled educator perspective is lacking. Educators after all experience learner discipline problems firsthand, and are on the receiving end of learner discipline problems. The aim of this research is the construction of such an educator perspective, in order to determine whether or not a discipline crisis exist in South African schools and, if so, what are the extent and nature thereof. A sample of educators at schools in the Vaal Triangle region, North-West Province and Free State Province completed a questionnaire, which surveyed the following aspects of learner discipline at their schools: state of learner discipline in their classes and in their schools, nature and frequency of discipline problems, methods used to maintain discipline and the effectiveness of those methods, and the effect of learner discipline problems on the lives of educators. The biographic information of respondents indicated that the sample included the total spectrum of educators in South Africa, regarding age, experience, post-level, grades and learning areas which educators teach and school categories (historically black, historically coloured, historically Indian and historically white schools) in which educators are employed. The majority of educators regarded the state of learner discipline at their schools and in their classes as either good or very good. 1.7% of respondents regarded the discipline situation in their classes as very poor, 13.6% as poor, 72.1% as good and 8.1% as very good. 5.2% of respondents regarded the discipline situation in their schools as very poor, 19.3% as poor, 67.4% as good, and 8.1% as very good. The results indicated that it is the relatively minor forms of discipline problems which dominate. The following discipline problems are encountered by most teachers on a daily basis: disruptive behaviour, rudeness, dishonesty, obscene language, cheekiness, untidy/wrong clothing, neglect of duty, telling lies, and absenteeism. At the same time there exist reasons for concern about the wide spectrum of problems which educators encounter on a weekly basis (for example absenteeism, telling of lies, obscene language, moodiness, untidy/wrong clothing, neglect of duty, and bullying) and also about the serious forms of discipline problems (such as vandalism, theft and violence) which occur as regularly as monthly. Turning to methods which educators use to maintain discipline, it appears as if preventive methods (which are educationally the preferred methods) are lacking. Reactive methods of maintaining discipline dominate. These methods include: reprimanding, isolation within the classroom, isolation outside the classroom, extra work, detention, referral to principal and referral to school governing body. The continual use of corporal punishment by 14% of educators - twelve years after it was officially abolished and at the risk of facing criminal charges - is cause for concern. Apparently educators do not have methods which in their experience are very effective. Many educators use methods which they themselves experience as ineffective. For example, 50% of educators who use isolation within the classroom as method, and 70% of educators who use isolation outside the classroom, regard these methods as ineffective. The situation regarding learner discipline causes 85% of educators to be at times or regularly unhappy in their work, has caused sometimes or regularly tension in the family lives of 58% of educators, and has led to health problems in the case of 54% of educators. These figures are disturbing. In order to address the problems outlined above, it is recommended that research be conducted on preventive and effective methods to maintain discipline and that educators are counselled accordingly. <![CDATA[<b>Vos, Cas & Human, Dirk (reds.). 2007. <i>Liefde is die grootste: Oor erotiek en seksualiteit</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512008000300010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Navorsing oor die probleem van leerderdissipline aan Suid-Afrikaanse skole is al vanuit 'n verskeidenheid perspektiewe onderneem, maar 'n sterk opvoederperspektief ontbreek steeds. Die feit dat opvoeders dissiplineprobleme eerstehands ervaar en dit moet hanteer maak 'n opvoedersperspektief noodsaaklik. Die doel van dié navorsing is daarom die daarstelling van sodanige opvoedersperspektief op leerderdissipline in 'n spesifieke teikenarea. 'n Literatuurstudie en 'n empiriese ondersoek is onderneem ten einde te bepaal hoe opvoeders in Gauteng, die Vrystaat en Noordwesprovinsie leerderdissipline by hul skole beleef. Respondente het gerapporteer dat minder ernstige dissiplineprobleme by hul skole en binne hul klasse 'n weeklikse verskynsel is, en het aangedui dat ernstige vorme van wangedrag, soos vandalisme, diefstal en geweld, maandeliks voorkom. Die metodes wat opvoeders gebruik en die effek van leerderdissipline op opvoeders word geanaliseer in die artikel en ten slotte word aanbevelings vir praktykverbetering gemaak.<hr/>From recently published research it appears as if learner discipline at South African schools is a problem. While the issue of learner discipline at South African schools has been researched from a variety of perspectives (including the experiences of school principals, the experiences of learners), a clear, distilled educator perspective is lacking. Educators after all experience learner discipline problems firsthand, and are on the receiving end of learner discipline problems. The aim of this research is the construction of such an educator perspective, in order to determine whether or not a discipline crisis exist in South African schools and, if so, what are the extent and nature thereof. A sample of educators at schools in the Vaal Triangle region, North-West Province and Free State Province completed a questionnaire, which surveyed the following aspects of learner discipline at their schools: state of learner discipline in their classes and in their schools, nature and frequency of discipline problems, methods used to maintain discipline and the effectiveness of those methods, and the effect of learner discipline problems on the lives of educators. The biographic information of respondents indicated that the sample included the total spectrum of educators in South Africa, regarding age, experience, post-level, grades and learning areas which educators teach and school categories (historically black, historically coloured, historically Indian and historically white schools) in which educators are employed. The majority of educators regarded the state of learner discipline at their schools and in their classes as either good or very good. 1.7% of respondents regarded the discipline situation in their classes as very poor, 13.6% as poor, 72.1% as good and 8.1% as very good. 5.2% of respondents regarded the discipline situation in their schools as very poor, 19.3% as poor, 67.4% as good, and 8.1% as very good. The results indicated that it is the relatively minor forms of discipline problems which dominate. The following discipline problems are encountered by most teachers on a daily basis: disruptive behaviour, rudeness, dishonesty, obscene language, cheekiness, untidy/wrong clothing, neglect of duty, telling lies, and absenteeism. At the same time there exist reasons for concern about the wide spectrum of problems which educators encounter on a weekly basis (for example absenteeism, telling of lies, obscene language, moodiness, untidy/wrong clothing, neglect of duty, and bullying) and also about the serious forms of discipline problems (such as vandalism, theft and violence) which occur as regularly as monthly. Turning to methods which educators use to maintain discipline, it appears as if preventive methods (which are educationally the preferred methods) are lacking. Reactive methods of maintaining discipline dominate. These methods include: reprimanding, isolation within the classroom, isolation outside the classroom, extra work, detention, referral to principal and referral to school governing body. The continual use of corporal punishment by 14% of educators - twelve years after it was officially abolished and at the risk of facing criminal charges - is cause for concern. Apparently educators do not have methods which in their experience are very effective. Many educators use methods which they themselves experience as ineffective. For example, 50% of educators who use isolation within the classroom as method, and 70% of educators who use isolation outside the classroom, regard these methods as ineffective. The situation regarding learner discipline causes 85% of educators to be at times or regularly unhappy in their work, has caused sometimes or regularly tension in the family lives of 58% of educators, and has led to health problems in the case of 54% of educators. These figures are disturbing. In order to address the problems outlined above, it is recommended that research be conducted on preventive and effective methods to maintain discipline and that educators are counselled accordingly.