Apartheid's Laws in South Africa

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Ethnic Relations Affected by Apartheid’s Laws in South Africa Patricia Tyler
SOC 308
Tirizia York
October 11, 2010

Ethnic Relations Affected by Apartheid’s Laws in South Africa Over the years immigrants have migrated from their native lands to different countries with the hopes and dreams of benefiting from the valued resources other developed countries have to offer. Migration occurs mainly for the purpose to gain better opportunities and life chances. In most cases, depending on an immigrant’s personal characteristics and physical traits being similar to that of the dominant groups the process of assimilating into society is less difficult; however, for those that are not close in physical traits to the dominant group have a much harder time being accepted or ability to receive resources willingly and tend to become more pluralistic as a result. Pluralistic is defined when an individual does not make any effort to conform to the dominant ethnic group’s values, norms or beliefs. Those that practice pluralistic continue to believe in their cultural values, norms and beliefs; however, this practice normally ends in resentment as these individuals are in most cases at the bottom of the ethnic stratification class. Research has showed that the dominant group is usually referred to the ethnic group that holds political control and economic resources shared among that particular group as they are numerically the majority and most immigrants are few in numbers are considered the minority. Currently in the United States and around the world in most countries societies are blended and residing in a multiethnic society as immigrants travel across the world and merge living together. However, in South Africa there is tension among ethnic groups as they have yet to equally coexist together as a result of apartheid which caused a delay in the developing of their multiethnic society. The research conducted for this final paper was on South Africa and the effects of apartheid caused by discriminating laws developed by the dominant ethnic group of immigrants to receive more benefits and advantages of the country’s resources. Laws were created to prevent any threat in which the majority group may have attempted to cause in the effort to regain control of their native land and government. The purpose of this research is to examine how immigrants in South Africa which were white Europeans able to migrate to a country where numerically they were considered the minority ethnic group and resume control of the dominant group which was the South Africans in which they were considered numerically the majority group. An additional purpose for this research was to examine what caused South Africa’s delay in becoming a multicultural developing society compared to other countries in which equality has been shared among all ethnic groups and ethnic relations have improved over the years. Why is it that South Africa has not reached the level of equality for all citizens to reap the rewards their country has to offer and not based according to ethnic classification? Overall, the main goal is to investigate how racial and ethnic relations in South Africa has been affected by apartheid’s separation among all ethnic groups and how does discrimination and prejudice enforce the segregation. The hypothesis for this investigation is that apartheid caused by racial ideology and discriminating government laws caused a development and institutionalized delay in the process of creating a multicultural society where ethnic equality was offered to all citizens regardless of difference in nationality compared to that of other countries.

Most multiethnic societies after World War II adopted policies that would strengthen and bridge the ethnic gap in a way to unify ethnic groups; however, South Africa choose to do the opposite by creating a division among the country’s ethnic population, (Marger, 2009). Research shows...
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