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Grass-roots understandings of reconciliation in South Africa

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Author(s): Anna-Karin Evaldsson

Journal: Crossroads
ISSN 1825-7208

Volume: 5;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 76;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: reconcilation | south-africa | conflict

ABSTRACT
The concept of reconciliation is frequently used today and especially so in relation to South Africa. However, there is a substantial lack of clarity with regard to the definition of reconciliation. There is also a lack of research about how the concept is understood among the general public in South Africa and this article is an attempt at beginning to fill that gap. The article is based on qualitative interviews conducted in South Africa in 2004 and 2005. There were some similarities between the interviewees’ understandings of reconciliation and those that have been prominent in the public arena, but there were also extensive differences. One major difference is that the interviewees strongly emphasised the importance of the local context and their everyday life with regard to reconciliation, issues that are often get little attention at the elite level.
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