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Household language, residential segregation and social mobility : continuity and change in eThekwini, South Africa

Bekker, Simon ; Hill, Lloyd Bennett (2016)

CITATION: Bekker, S. & Hill, L. 2016. Household language, residential segregation and social mobility: Continuity and change in eThekwini, South Africa. African Population Studies, 30(2): 2255-2274, doi:

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This article uses South African census data for 1996, 2001 and 2011 to explore the relationship between language and social mobility in the metropolitan region of eThekwini (including what was previously known as Durban). We focus particular attention on variables selected to shed light on residential segregation and social mobility, such as education level, income, race and in-migration. Data on adults at ward level (using 2011 ward boundaries) in eThekwini is used to develop a comparative spatial context for this analysis. Our main finding is that English appears in eThekwini to be the household language of the social elite as well as the language of upward mobility and empowerment.

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