Die Son Sien Alles : The Constitution of Community in a Post-Apartheid Tabloid

Harmse, Kristen (2018-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study considers a Cape Town based tabloid, Die Son, and how it has become a platform on which a particular community negotiates its boundaries and constitutes itself as shared identity. By approaching the tabloid as facilitating an identification with a larger collective in moral, political and legal terms, I show that the tabloid helps to enable the imagining of this working class, coloured community. Unlike in Anderson’s case (1983), the tabloid works here against the nation as abstract form, with its promises of inclusion for all. Instead, it relies upon a process of negation, producing boundaries around the community it purports to represent. Such boundaries, I propose, are established by figures out of place, through which the tabloid produces limits of the community, not only displaying but also channeling public antagonism. I register these figure types – the abject criminal, the wolf in blue, the African foreign national – through different kinds of affective speech: disgust, fear, and hatred. By considering how affect gives form to particular group expressions, I understand Die Son and its readership as an intimate counterpublic that demands that people guard themselves against the presence of forces that threaten to undo community boundaries, thereby constituting belonging negatively. I further consider how the tabloid produces an image of itself as a counterparent, a figure which coincides with a development of attachment and identification. However, to fully exclude these figures out of place proves impossible and undoes the promise of Die Son that it will see everything [Son Sien Alles]. These figures continue to haunt the community, circulating in the tabloid and ensuring that, ironically, this intimate counterpublic persists as a promise of a secure community beyond the nation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie behels ʼn ondersoek van ʼn Kaapstad-gebaseerde poniekoerant, Die Son, en die manier waarop dit ʼn platform geword het waar ʼn spesifieke gemeenskap sy grense kan onderhandel en ʼn gedeelde identiteit kan vorm. Deur die benadering van die poniekoerant as fasiliteerder van die vereenselwiging met ʼn groter gemeenskaplike versameling in morele, politieke en regsterme, toon ek dat die poniekoerant daaraan meedoen om die verbeelding van hierdie gekleurde werkersklas gemeenskap te versinnebeeld. Anders as in Anderson se geval (1983), werk die koerant – met sy beloftes van insluiting vir almal – hier téén die nasie as abstrakte vorm. In stede hiervan maak dit staat op ʼn proses van ontkenning, waardeur grense om die voorgestelde gemeenskap getrek word. My argument is dat hierdie grense deur misplaasde figure gevestig word, waardeur die koerant grense van die gemeenskap voortbring, en nie net openbare antagonisme toon nie, maar dit ook kanaliseer. Ek teken hierdie figuurtipes – die volslae misdadiger, die wolf in blou, die buitelandse Afrika-burger – deur verskillende soorte affektiewe spraak aan: afkeer, vrees en haat. Deur oorweging van die manier waarop affek aan spesifieke groepsuitdrukkings vorm gee, beskou ek Die Son en sy lesers as ʼn intieme kontrapubliek wat vereis dat mense hulself beskerm teen die teenwoordigheid van magte wat dreig om gemeenskapsgrense te verwoes, waardeur ʼn gevoel van behoort negatief saamgestel word. Ek ondersoek voorts hoe die koerant ʼn beeld van homself as ʼn kontra-ouer voorhou, ʼn figuur wat ooreenstem met ʼn ontwikkeling van gehegtheid en vereenselwiging. Om hierdie misplaasde figure egter ten volle uit te sluit, blyk onmoontlik te wees en maak die belofte van Die Son dat dit alles sal sien (Son Sien Alles) ongedaan. Hierdie figure kwel steeds die gemeenskap, sirkuleer in die koerant en verseker, ironies genoeg, dat hierdie intieme kontrapubliek voortbestaan as ʼn belofte van ʼn veilige gemeenskap buite die nasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/104849
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