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Title: The indigenous system of social relations (1934), with an introduction by Isak Niehaus
Authors: Hoernle, AW
Niehaus, I
Keywords: Early social anthropology;Education;South Africa;Winifred Hoernle
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Anthropology Southern Africa, 38 (1-2): pp. 75 - 87 (13), ( 2015)
Abstract: This article reproduces, with minor editorial changes, a previously unpublished paper presented by Agnes Winifred Hoernlé to the New Education Fellowship Conference in Johannesburg in 1934. Hoernlé argues that education is vitally important in preparing the next generation of Africans for life in a complex emerging civilisation, in which European social patterns are imposed on African ones. Hoernlé acknowledges that many Africans live in towns and on white-owned farms under conditions far removed from tribal life. In this context, she argues, education should not aim to (re)produce cultural autonomy, but should rather “stimulate a healthy spirit of South African citizenship, which can animate both Blacks and Whites.” Hoernlé sees African kinship systems and African traditions, such as bridewealth and age-sets, as possessing great strength and vitality, even in modern conditions. In her opinion, Africans can be transformed into a civilised people, without ceasing to be true Africans. She condemns Whites for failing to understand these traditions, but also for denying African children access to scientific knowledge. In his introduction to the article, Isak Niehaus suggests that Hoernlé's address shows an early quest to understand cultural differences within an emerging industrial society, rather than seeing cultures as singular and different from each other and in functionally integrated terms.
ISSN: 2332-3256
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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