IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Gerard Boyce


  • Geoff Harris



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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    South Africa; Hope levels; Snyder Scale;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:113:y:2013:i:1:p:583-597. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.