Exploring the Diversity of Worldviews in South Africa

  • Cathy Bollaert
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)


This chapter untangles the various strands of worldview held by the respondents in the study by drawing on the worldview attributes described in Chapters  3 and  4, namely: one’s ontological orientation, unit of survival and accountability, form of social organisation, and activity and temporal orientation. It explores how worldviews can be similar yet quite different at the same time; fixed, flexible and able to change. It raises questions about how peace-building interventions are contextualised and the impact that different social values might have on the goal of reconciliation. Recognising that identities shift over time, the worldviews represented by the respondents are a window into the diversity of South African identities at a given point in time.


Worldview attributes South Africa Ontology Collectivism Individualism Systems of meaning-making 


  1. Ashforth, Adam. 2005. Witchcraft, violence, and democracy in South Africa. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bediako, Kwame. 2004. Jesus and the gospel in Africa: History and experience. Maryknoll: Orbis Books.Google Scholar
  3. Comaroff, Jean, and John Comaroff. 2003. Reflections on liberalism, policulturalism, and ID-ology: Citizenship and difference in South Africa. Social Identities 9 (4): 445–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Comaroff, Jean, and John Comaroff. 2004. Criminal justice, cultural justice: The limits of liberalism and the pragmatics of difference in the new South Africa. American Ethnologist 31 (2): 188–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Comaroff, Jean, and John Comaroff. 2005. The struggle between the constitution and ‘things African’. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 7 (3): 299–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Escritt, Thomas. 2015. International court urged to reform or risk losing Africa. Reuters Africa, November 20. Accessed 31 August 2018.
  7. IOL News. 2015. ICC is dangerous: Mantashe. IOL News, June 22. Accessed 31 August 2018.
  8. Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors we live by. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Reuters. 2015. ICC asks South Africa to explain failure to arrest Bashir. Reuters, September 9. Accessed 31 August 2018.
  10. Singh, Kaveel. 2018. Chainsaw attack—‘They couldn’t get through his bone’—Training partner, friend of SA Triathlete. News24, March 7. Accessed 31 August 2018.
  11. Tutu, Desmond. 1999. No future without forgiveness. London: Rider.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Tutu, Desmond. 2008. Interview. In Truth, justice, memory: South Africa’s truth and reconciliation process. Cape Town: Institute of Justice and Reconciliation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cathy Bollaert
    • 1
  1. 1.Ulster UniversityBelfastUK

Personalised recommendations