South African Social Attitudes
Changing Times, Diverse Voices

Udesh Pillay; Benjamin Roberts; Stephen Rule (eds.)

240mm x 168mm
R 190.00
ISBN: 0-7969-2117-2
March 2006


A country’s attitudinal profile is as much a part of its social reality as are its demographic make-up, its culture and its distinctive social patterns. It helps to provide a nuanced picture of a country’s circumstances, its continuities and changes, its democratic health, and how it feels to live there. It also helps to measure the country’s progress towards the achievement of its economic, social and political goals, based on the measurement of both ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ realities.

South African Social Attitudes: Changing Times, Diverse Voices is a new series aimed at providing an analysis of attitudes and values towards a wide range of social and political issues relevant to life in contemporary South African society. As the series develops, we hope that readers will be able to draw meaningful comparisons with the findings of previous years and thus develop a richer picture and deeper appreciation of changing South African social values.

This, the first volume in the series, presents the public’s responses during extensive nation-wide interviews conducted by the HSRC in late 2003. The findings are analysed in three thematic sections: the first provides an in-depth examination of race, class and politics; the second gives a critical assessment of the public’s perceptions of poverty, inequality and service delivery, and the last explores societal values such as partner violence and moral attitudes.

South African Social Attitudes is essential reading for anyone seeking a guide to contemporary social or political issues and debates. It should prove an indispensable tool not only for government policy-makers, social scientists and students, but also for general readers wishing to gain a better understanding of their fellow citizens and themselves.


Introduction – Udesh Pillay

Race, class and politics

  • Issues of democracy and governance – John Daniel, Roger Southall & Sarah Dippenaar
  • Voting behaviour and attitudes in a post-apartheid South Africa – Sanusha Naidu
  • Multicultural national identity and pride – Arlene Grossberg, Jaré Struwig & Udesh Pillay
  • Identity and race relations – Marlene Roefs

Poverty, inequality and service delivery

  • The happy transition? Attitudes to poverty and inequality after a decade after democracy – Benjamin Roberts
  • Slipping through the Net: digital and other communication divides within South Africa – Zakes Langa, Pieter Conradie & Benjamin Roberts
  • The ‘vexed question’: Interruptions, cut-offs and water services in South Africa – David Hemson & Kwame Owusu-Ampomah
  • What do South Africans think about education? – Mbithi wa Kivilu & Seán Morrow
  • A healthy attitude? – Chris Desmond & Gerard Boyce

Societal values

  • Partner violence – Andrew Dawes, Zosa de Sas Kropiwnicki, Zuyhar Kafaar & Linda Richter
  • Rights or wrongs? An exploration of moral values – Stephen Rule & Bongiwe Mncwango


  • The state of the people – Mark Orkin & Roger Jowell


Click on the links below to read the reviews:

Volksblad 01 May 2006

Volksblad 29 April 2006

Weekender 29 April 2006 [1]

Weekender 29 April 2006 [2]

Weekender 22 April 2006 [1]

Weekender 22 April 2006 [1]

Weekender 22 April 2006 [2]

Weekender 22 April 2006 [3]