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The Social and Political Implications of Demographic Change in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Year: 2013
Working paper number: 328
Author: Seekings, Jeremy
Unit: SSU
Abstract:
The cohort of young people born between the early 1980s and early 1990s comprise a demographic bulge in the South African population. The sheer size of this cohort renders it especially important in terms of the changing political, economic and social life of the country. The cohort grew up for the most part after apartheid had ended, entered the labour market at a time of high unemployment, is having children as marriage in in decline, and reached voting age just as the ANC's moral stature began to decline. All of these might be expected to result in distinctive attitudes and behaviours. By diverse criteria, however, the cohort looks much like older (or immediately previous cohorts of) South Africans. This 'generation' does not appear to be particularly distinctive except in terms of its size. Where this cohort is likely to leave its mark is in entrenching some of the social, economic and political changes that, until recently, might have appeared transient.
Publication file: WP 328.pdf
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