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Hope the Beloved Country: Hope Levels in the New South Africa

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  • Gerard Boyce

    ()

  • Geoff Harris

    ()

Abstract

The concept of hope seems to have attracted increased attention in popular and academic discourse in South Africa. Despite this increased focus, no empirical studies on national hope levels have been conducted in South Africa to date. This article sought to address this gap by investigating national hope levels using data taken from the 2009 wave of the Human Sciences Research Council’s nationally representative South African Social Attitudes Survey of approximately 3,300 South Africans aged 16 and older. Using a slightly modified version of the widely used Snyder Hope Scale, this study found significant geographic and social differences in citizens’ average hope levels. Differences appear to attest to the continued negative association between hope levels and membership of groups that have historically been relegated to the margins of South African society. Contrary to most current political portrayals, however, there does not appear to be a significant age cohort effect. Self-perceptions of marginalisation also appear to be related to hope. In light of the paucity of South African empirical work in this area, the paper concluded by identifying possible future research needs. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard Boyce & Geoff Harris, 2013. "Hope the Beloved Country: Hope Levels in the New South Africa," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 583-597, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:113:y:2013:i:1:p:583-597
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-0112-y
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11205-012-0112-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Helga Dickow & Valerie Møller, 2002. "South Africa's `Rainbow People', National Pride and Optimism: A Trend Study," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 175-202, August.
    2. Debra Shepherd, 2008. "Post-Apartheid Trends in Gender Discrimination in South Africa: Analysis through Decomposition Techniques," Working Papers 06/2008, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
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    Keywords

    South Africa; Hope levels; Snyder Scale;

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