Original Research

'Wit' armoede en 'wit' bevoorregting in enkele Afrikaanse jeugromans

Loraine van der Westhuizen, Jacomien van Niekerk
Literator | Vol 40, No 1 | a1592 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v40i1.1592 | © 2019 Loraine van der Westhuizen, Jacomien van Niekerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2019 | Published: 15 August 2019

About the author(s)

Loraine van der Westhuizen, Department of Afrikaans, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Jacomien van Niekerk, Department of Afrikaans, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

‘White’ poverty and ‘white’ privilege in selected Afrikaans novels for young adults. This article examines the representation of ‘white’ poverty in selected Afrikaans novels for young adults published between 1990 and 2014: Droomwa (1990) by Barrie Hough, Die optog van die aftjoppers (1994) by George Weideman, Vaselinetjie (2004) by Anoeschka von Meck, Roepman (2004) by Jan van Tonder, Lien se lankstaanskoene (2008) by Derick van der Walt and Iewers vlieg daar fairy dust (2014) by Marisa Haasbroek. In these novels, poverty functions as a feature of the so-called problem book and coming of age novel. The novels are analysed, however, by employing critical whiteness studies as an overarching theoretical framework. Indicators of the ‘white’ characters’ poverty are identified with regard to description, dialogue, actions and place with the aim of determining how and why these representations are evident in the novels. Apartheid is the backdrop for two of the novels; here, ‘white’ poverty is portrayed in a nostalgic manner. In the other novels, ‘white’ poverty is portrayed as irreconcilable with ‘whiteness’; ‘white’ privilege prevails.

Keywords

Afrikaans literature; critical whiteness studies; discourse; poor white problem; poverty; post-apartheid literature; representation; South African literature; whiteness; youth literature; Afrikaanse literatuur; armblankevraagstuk; armoede; diskoers; jeug

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