Since the transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa has become a well documented nation. A multitude of national and sub-national studies have been conducted, yielding a wealth of information about the characteristics of South African society, and how these have evolved over time. However, less is known about how South Africans feel about their world and themselves. There remains much scope for deepening our understanding of the publics values, chronicling how these have been changing, and determining the extent to which different segments of the population vary in their attitudes and beliefs.
South African Social Attitudes: Reflections on the Age of Hope is the second in the HSRC series that aims to monitor the evolving dynamics of South African social values in relation to broader societal developments. It is based primarily on the findings of the 2004 and 2005 rounds of the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS), which involved interviewing a nationally representative sample of more than 5000 individuals aged 16 years and older.
Like its predecessor, South African Social Attitudes: Changing Times, Diverse Voices, this volume is structured according to three thematic sections. The first section on race, class and politics examines the publics views on issues such as national priorities, racial redress, local government, and includes an in-depth examination of youth attitudes. The second section addresses perceptions about poverty, inequality and service delivery. The final section on societal values focuses on attitudes in relation to religion, the environment, employment, and the fear of crime.
South African Social Attitudes is essential reading for anyone seeking a guide to contemporary social or political issues and debates.