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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 1018-6441

Abstract

DUBE, Zorodzai. The discursive cultural representations of Gentiles: A contextual approach using migration theory. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2014, vol.48, n.1, pp. 01-07. ISSN 1018-6441.

How are social boundaries created and how are they maintained? To an extent, the way people look, dress and talk demarcates cultural markers that distinguish them from others - hence, giving them a sense of self-categorisation and self-identity. However, with time such collective identity might need readjustment when people from another culture become insiders and neighbours within the perceived social boundaries. Regarding this, James Dunn noted that a challenge of social cohesion between the Jews and the Gentiles existed during the 1st century, necessitated by the conversion of Gentiles to Christianity. In response, to keep their exclusive collective identity, the Jews demanded that the Gentiles observe Jewish law. This article develops Dunn's view that the observance of Jewish law provided implicit social exclusion strategies towards the Gentiles. However, Dunn did not elaborate further concerning the strategies upon which Gentiles were excluded. As contribution to fill that void, this article drew on strategies of inclusion and exclusion from the analogy of migration in South Africa and elsewhere.

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