Ubuntu Strategies

Constructing Spaces of Belonging in Contemporary South African Culture

  • Hanneke Stuit

Table of contents

About this book


This book examines the ways in which ubuntu is continuously shaped and reshaped in different media in contemporary South African culture, such as literature, photography, cartoon art, journalistic fiction, and commercial television. It also studies ubuntu’s recent global dissemination and commodification, and critically assesses various approaches to ubuntu from different disciplines. From these various uses, ubuntu emerges as a powerful tool for thinking through problems of social in- and exclusion, and provides a nuanced perspective on what it means to strive for social harmony and communal unity. Ubuntu Strategies attends to the cultural production of ubuntu and argues that it is not just about being part of a common humanity, but also involves strategic decisions that balance self and other, particular and universal, local and global, difference and sameness, as well as violence and safety. The literary and cultural theoretical approach offered in Ubuntu Strategies thus provides a new perspective that addresses the role of representation in ubuntu, both supplementing and challenging legal and political inquiries of the concept. 


Ubuntu South Africa Literary Studies Cultural Studies Community Hospitality Africa African culture community culture ethics ethnicity political science politics social science sociology

Authors and affiliations

  • Hanneke Stuit
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information