Minority group autonomy and the rejection of dominant group racial mythologies: the Zulu of South Africa

Research into the effects of discrimination on the personalities and personality development of minority group peoples has been particularly extensive. This body of research would appear to make a fairly strong case for the contention that prejudice and discrimination practised by a dominant group can have a profound impact on the personality, especially the self-concept, of a minority people. Yet the counter-claim has recently been strongly asserted that these data are dubious in the extreme and the conclusions, therefore, totally unwarranted. These critiques mandate use of improved methodology in proposing further research into the consequences of discrimination. So this study was carried out among the Zulu of the republic of South Africa. The results indicate that racial or other discrimination is not a sufficient condition for the inculcation of majority group stereotypes among a minority. The belief in one’s power and the opportunity for control of one’s affairs are very important. Fig., tables, ref., appendix with sample listing of 15 of the folk myths found among South African Europeans used to rationalize extant race relations.

Title: Minority group autonomy and the rejection of dominant group racial mythologies: the Zulu of South Africa
Author: Alverson, Hoyt S.
Year: 1974
Periodical: African Studies
Volume: 33
Issue: 1
Pages: 3-24
Language: English
Geographic term: South Africa
External link: https://doi.org/10.1080/00020187408707419
Abstract: Research into the effects of discrimination on the personalities and personality development of minority group peoples has been particularly extensive. This body of research would appear to make a fairly strong case for the contention that prejudice and discrimination practised by a dominant group can have a profound impact on the personality, especially the self-concept, of a minority people. Yet the counter-claim has recently been strongly asserted that these data are dubious in the extreme and the conclusions, therefore, totally unwarranted. These critiques mandate use of improved methodology in proposing further research into the consequences of discrimination. So this study was carried out among the Zulu of the republic of South Africa. The results indicate that racial or other discrimination is not a sufficient condition for the inculcation of majority group stereotypes among a minority. The belief in one’s power and the opportunity for control of one’s affairs are very important. Fig., tables, ref., appendix with sample listing of 15 of the folk myths found among South African Europeans used to rationalize extant race relations.