Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-564cf476b6-r9chl Total loading time: 0.277 Render date: 2021-06-21T23:42:06.015Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Parodies of whiteness: Die Antwoord and the politics of race, gender, and class in South Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2020

Ian Bekker
Affiliation:
North West University, South Africa
Erez Levon
Affiliation:
Queen Mary University of London, UK
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

The dramatic reconfiguration of the social, political, and ideological order in South Africa since 1990/1994 has demanded a concomitant reconceptualization of (white) Afrikaner notions of self and belonging in the (new) nation. In this article, we draw on recent developments in the study of varidirectional voicing (polyphony), performance, and mediatization to examine how the South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord makes use of parody and metaparody in their music to critique emerging ‘new Afrikaner’ identities and the racial, class, and gender configurations on which they are based. We also discuss the structural limits of these critiques and the political potential of (meta)parodic performance more generally. ((Meta)parody, polyphony, performance, race, class, gender, South Africa)*

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

*

Special thanks to the following for their comments, feedback, and discussion of the arguments presented here: Cecilia Cutler, Andy Gibson, Norma Mendoza-Denton, Philip van der Merwe, Tommaso Milani, Mark de Vos, Quentin Williams, and audience members at North West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa in March 2016 and at the Language, Indexicality, and Belonging conference at the University of Oxford in April 2016. Thanks also to Judith Irvine and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on earlier drafts. We alone are responsible for any remaining errors or shortcomings.

References

Adhikari, Mohamed (2005). Not white enough, not black enough: Racial identity in the South African coloured community. Athens: University of Ohio Press.Google Scholar
Agha, Asif (2005). Voice, footing, enregisterment. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15:3859.10.1525/jlin.2005.15.1.38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Agha, Asif (2007). Language and social relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Agha, Asif (2011a). Commodity registers. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 21:2253.10.1111/j.1548-1395.2011.01081.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Agha, Asif (2011b). Meet mediatization. Language & Communication 31:163–70.10.1016/j.langcom.2011.03.006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Akita, Kimiko (2005). Cuteness: The sexual commodification of women in the Japanese media. In Carilli, Theresa & Campbell, Jane (eds.), Women and the media: Diverse perspectives, 4457. Oxford: University Press of America.Google Scholar
Alim, H. Samy (2004). Hip hop nation language. In Finegan, Edward & Rickford, John (eds.), Language in the USA: Themes for the twenty-first century, 387409. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511809880.023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allison, Anne (2003). Portable monsters and commodity cuteness: Pokémon as Japan's new global power. Postcolonial Studies 6:381–95.10.1080/1368879032000162220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allison, Anne (2006). Millennial monsters: Japanese toys and global imagination. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Badprop, Angola (2010). Netting an audience. The Media, June 24–28.Google Scholar
Bakhtin, Mikhail (1965). Rabelais and his world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
Bakhtin, Mikhail (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
Bakhtin, Mikhail (1984). Problems in Dostoevsky's poetics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.10.5749/j.ctt22727z1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ballantine, Christopher (2004). Re-thinking ‘whiteness’? Identity, change, and ‘white’ popular music in post-apartheid South Africa. Popular Music 23:105–31.10.1017/S0261143004000157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ballard, Richard (2004). Assimilation, emigration, semigration, and integration: ‘White’ people's strategies for finding a comfort zone in post-apartheid South Africa. In Distiller, Natasha & Steyn, Melissa (eds.), Under construction: ‘Race’ and identity in South Africa today, 5166. Johannesburg: Heinemann.Google Scholar
Barrett, Rusty (1999). Indexing polyphonous identity in the speech of African American Drag Queens. In Bucholtz, Mary, Liang, A. C., & Sutton, Laurel (eds.), Reinventing identities, 313–31. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Bauman, Richard (1992). Performance. In Bauman, Richard (ed.), Folklore, cultural performances, and popular entertainments, 4149. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Bauman, Richard (2004). A world of others’ words: Cross-cultural perspectives on inter-textuality. Oxford: Blackwell.10.1002/9780470773895CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bauman, Richard (2005). Commentary: Indirect indexicality, identity, performance: Dialogic observations. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15:145–50.10.1525/jlin.2005.15.1.145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bauman, Richard (2011). Commentary: Foundations in performance. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15:707–20.10.1111/j.1467-9841.2011.00510.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bekker, Ian, & Levon, Erez (2017). The embedded indexical value of /s/-fronting in Afrikaans and White South African English. Linguistics 55:1109–39.10.1515/ling-2017-0022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bell, Allan, & Gibson, Andy (2011). Staging language: An introduction to the sociolinguistics of performance. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15:555–72.10.1111/j.1467-9841.2011.00517.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bentley, Kristina, & Habib, Adam (2008). Racial redress, national identity & citizenship in post-apartheid South Africa. In Bentley, Kristina & Habib, Adam (eds.), Racial redress and citizenship in South Africa, 332. Cape Town: HSRC Press.Google Scholar
Blaser, Thomas, & van der Westhuizen, Christi (2012). The paradox of post-apartheid ‘Afrikaner’ identity: Deployments of ethnicity and neo-liberalism. African Studies 71:380–90.10.1080/00020184.2012.740882CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brickell, Chris (2005). Masculinities, performativity and subversion: A sociological reappraisal. Men and Masculinities 8:2443.10.1177/1097184X03257515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bucholtz, Mary (2011). Race and the re-embodied voice in Hollywood film. Language & Communication 31:255–65.10.1016/j.langcom.2011.02.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bucholtz, Mary, & Lopez, Quiana (2011). Performing blackness, forming whiteness: Linguistic minstrelsy in Hollywood film. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15:680706.10.1111/j.1467-9841.2011.00513.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Butler, Judith (1993). Critically queer. In Bodies that matter: On the discursive limits of sex, 223–42. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Chun, Elaine (2004). Ideologies of legitimate mockery: Margaret Cho's revoicing of Mock Asian. Pragmatics 14:263–89.10.1075/prag.14.2-3.10chuCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chun, Elaine (2007) The meaning of mocking: Stylizations of Asians and preps at a US high school. Austin: University of Texas at Austin dissertation.Google Scholar
Chun, Elaine (2009). Speaking like Asian immigrants: Intersections of accommodation and mocking at a US High School. Pragmatics 19:1738.10.1075/prag.19.1.02chuCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clarke, Sandra, & Hiscock, Philip (2009). Hip-hop in a post-insular community: Hybridity, local language, and authenticity in an online Newfoundland rap group. Journal of English Linguistics 37:241–61.10.1177/0075424209340313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coetzee, Stef (2008). Skep só ‘n tuiste vir almal [This is how to create a home for everyone]. Rapport, November 4.Google Scholar
Comaroff, John, & Comaroff, Jean (2009). Ethnicity, Inc. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.10.7208/chicago/9780226114736.001.0001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coupland, Nikolas (2001). Language, situation and the relational self: Theorizing dialect-style in sociolinguistics. In Eckert, Penelope & Rickford, John (eds.), Style and sociolinguistic variation, 185210. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Coupland, Nikolas (2007). Style: Language variation and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511755064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coupland, Nikolas (2011). Voice, place and genre in popular song performance. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15:573602.10.1111/j.1467-9841.2011.00514.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, Rebecca (2009). Afrikaners in the new South Africa: Identity politics in a globalized economy. London: Taurus Academic Studies.Google Scholar
Dentith, Simon (2000). Parody. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
de Villiers, Marq (1987). White tribe dreaming: Apartheid's bitter roots as witnessed by eight generations of an Afrikaner family. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
Du Bois, John (2007). The stance triangle. In Englebretson, Robert (ed.), Stancetaking in discourse, 139–82. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/pbns.164.07duCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dubow, Saul (1992). Afrikaner nationalism, apartheid and the conceptualization of ‘race’. The Journal of African History 33:209–37.10.1017/S0021853700032217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
du Preez, Amanda (2011). Die Antwoord gooi zef liminality: Of monsters, carnivals and affects. Image & Text 17:102–18.Google Scholar
Eastman, Jason, & Schrock, Douglas (2008). Southern rock musicians’ constructions of white trash. Race, Gender & Class 15:205–19.Google Scholar
Fredrickson, George (1981). White supremacy: A comparative study of American and South African history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Gal, Susan (2009). Perspective and the politics of representation: A commentary. In Reyes, Angela & Lo, Adrienne (eds.), Beyond Yellow English: Toward a linguistic anthropology of Asian Pacific America, 325–28. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327359.003.0019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gal, Susan (2016). Sociolinguistic differentiation. In Coupland, Nikolas (ed.), Sociolinguistics: Theoretical debates, 113–35. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9781107449787.006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibson, Andy (2011). Flight of the Conchords: Recontextualizing the voices of popular culture. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15:603–26.10.1111/j.1467-9841.2011.00515.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Giliomee, Hermann (2003). The Afrikaners: Biography of a people. Cape Town: Tafelberg.Google Scholar
Goffman, Erving (1961). Encounters: Two studies in the sociology of interaction. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.Google Scholar
Goffman, Erving (1974). Frame analysis. Cambridge, MA: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
Goldberg, David (1993). Racist culture: Philosophy and the politics of meaning. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Goodrich, Andre (2015). Biltong hunting as a performance of belonging in post-apartheid South Africa. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
Hastings, Adi, & Manning, Paul (2004). Introduction: Acts of alterity. Language & Communication 24:291311.10.1016/j.langcom.2004.07.001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haupt, Adam (2012). Static: Race and representation in post-apartheid music, media and film. Cape Town: HSRC Press.Google Scholar
Haupt, Adam (2013). Citizenship without representation? Blackface, misogyny and parody in Die Antwoord, Lupé Fiasco and Angel Haze. Communicatio 39:466–82.10.1080/02500167.2013.852599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heavner, Brent (2007). Liminality and normative whiteness: A critical reading of poor white trash. Ohio Communication Journal 45:6580.Google Scholar
Hill, Jane (1998). Language, race and white public space. American Anthropologist 100:680–89.10.1525/aa.1998.100.3.680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hunter, Margaret (2011). Shake it, baby, shake it: Consumption and the new gender relation in hip hop. Sociological Perspectives 54:1536.10.1525/sop.2011.54.1.15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hunter, Margaret, & Soto, Kathleen (2009). Women of color in hip hop: The pornographic gaze. Race, Gender & Class 16:170–91.Google Scholar
Hutcheon, Linda (1985). A theory of parody: The teachings of twentieth-century art forms. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
Hymes, Dell (1974). Foundations in sociolinguistics: An ethnographic approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
Jaffe, Alexandra (2000). Comic performance and the articulation of hybrid identity. Pragmatics 10:3959.10.1075/prag.10.1.02jafCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaffe, Alexandra (2009a). Indeterminacy and regularization: A process-based approach to the study of sociolinguistic variation and language ideologies. Sociolinguistic Studies 3:229–51.10.1558/sols.v3.i2.229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaffe, Alexandra (2009b). Introduction: The sociolinguistics of stance. In Jaffe, Alexandra (ed.), Stance: Sociolinguistic perspectives, 328. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331646.001.0001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaffe, Alexandra (2015). Staging language on Corsica: Stance, improvisation, play, and heteroglossia. Language in Society 44:161–86.10.1017/S0047404515000032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaffe, Alexandra (2016). Indexicality, stance and fields in sociolinguistics. In Coupland, Nikolas (ed.), Sociolinguistics: Theoretical debates, 86112. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9781107449787.005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaffe, Alexandra; Koven, Michèle; Perrino, Sabine; & Vigouroux, Cécile (2015). Introduction: Heteroglossia, performance, power and participation. Language in Society 44:135–39.10.1017/S0047404515000019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kinsella, Sharon (1995). Cuties in Japan. In Moeran, Brian & Scov, Lise (eds.), Women, media and consumption in Japan, 220–54. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.Google Scholar
Kinsella, Sharon (2002). What's behind the fetishism of Japanese school uniforms? Fashion Theory 6:215–37.10.2752/136270402778869046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kreuger, Anton (2012). Zef/poor white kitsch chique: Die Antwoord's comedy of degradation. Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Culture 13:399408.10.1080/17533171.2012.715484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Labrador, Roderick (2004). ‘We can laugh at ourselves’: Hawai'i ethnic humor, local identity and the myth of multiculturalism. Pragmatics 14:291316.10.1075/prag.14.2-3.11labCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lempert, Michael (2014). Imitation. Annual Review of Anthropology 43:379–95.10.1146/annurev-anthro-102313-030008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Linde, Charlotte (1993). Life stories: The creation of coherence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lloyd, Moya (1999). Performativity, parody, politics. Theory, Culture & Society 16(2):195213.10.1177/02632769922050476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lloyd, Moya (2007). Radical democratic activism and the politics of resignification. Constellations 14:129–46.10.1111/j.1467-8675.2007.00426.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lott, Eric (1993). Love and theft: Blackface minstrelsy and the American working class. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Marx, Hannelie, & Milton, Viola (2011). Bastardised whiteness: ‘Zef’ culture, Die Antwoord and the reconfiguration of contemporary Afrikaans identities. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture 17:723–45.10.1080/13504630.2011.606671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marx, Hannelie, & Milton, Viola (2014). Musical Parody, ‘zef’, and the politics of belonging: ‘Dankie vir die antwoord maar wat was die vraag?’. Muziki: Journal of Music Research in Africa 11:1937.Google Scholar
McClintock, Anne (1993). Family feuds: Gender, nationalism and the family. Feminist Review 44:6180.10.1057/fr.1993.21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morson, Gary (1989). Parody, history, metaparody. In Morson, Gary & Emerson, Caryl (eds.), Rethinking Bakhtin: Extensions and challenges, 6386. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
Norval, Aletta (1996). Deconstructing apartheid discourse. London: Verso.Google Scholar
Pietikäinen, Sari (2013). Multilingual dynamics in Sámiland: Rhizomatic discourses on changing language. International Journal of Bilingualism 19:206–25.10.1177/1367006913489199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pietikäinen, Sari (2016). Critical debates: Discourses, boundaries and social change. In Nikolas Coupland (ed.), Sociolinguistics: Theoretical debates, 263–81. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9781107449787.013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pretorius, Deidre (2013). The visual representation of masculinities in Huisgenoot Tempo magazine. Communicato 39:210–32.10.1080/02500167.2013.788532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rampton, Ben (1995). Crossing: Language and ethnicity among adolescents. London: Longman.Google Scholar
Rampton, Ben (2006). Language in late modernity: Interaction in an urban school. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511486722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schutte, Gerhard (1995). What racists believe. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
Scott, Claire (2012). Die Antwoord and a delegitimised South African Whiteness: A potential counter-narrative? Critical Arts 26:745–61.10.1080/02560046.2012.744729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scott, James (2012). Infrapolitics and mobilizations: A response. Revue Française d’Études Américaines 131:112–17.10.3917/rfea.131.0112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smitherman, Geneva (2006). Word from the mother: Language and African Americans. London: Routledge.10.4324/9780203006665CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sonnekus, Theo (2017). Hip Afrikaners and neo-tribalism in post-apartheid South Africa. Critical Arts 31(4):1836.10.1080/02560046.2017.1345965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steyn, Melissa (2001). Whiteness just isn't what it used to be’: White identity in a changing South Africa. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
Steyn, Melissa (2004). Rehabilitating a whiteness disgraced: Afrikaner ‘white talk’ in post-apartheid South Africa. Communication Quarterly 52:143–69.10.1080/01463370409370187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steyn, Melissa (2005). ‘White talk’: White South Africans and the management of diasporic whiteness. In Alfred Lopez (ed.), Postcolonial whiteness: A critical reader on race and empire, 119–35. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
Steyn, Melissa (2014). De La Rey, De La Rey, De La Rey: Invoking the Afrikaner ancestors. Thamyris/Intersecting 27:133–56.Google Scholar
Steyn, Melissa, & Foster, Don (2008). Repertoires for talking white: Resistant whiteness in post-apartheid South Africa. Ethnic and Racial Studies 31:2551.10.1080/01419870701538851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van der Westhuizen, Christi (2007). White power and the rise and fall of the National Party. Cape Town: Zebra Press.Google Scholar
Visser, Wessel (2004). Coming to terms with the past and present: Afrikaner experience of and reaction to the ‘new’ South Africa. Lecture presented at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen.Google Scholar
Wells, John (1982). Accents of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511611759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Williams, Quentin (2016). Youth multilingualism in South Africa's hip-hop culture: A metapragmatic analysis. Sociolinguistic Studies 10:109–33.10.1558/sols.v10i1-2.27797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Williams, Quentin, & Stroud, Christopher (2014). Battling the race: Stylizing language and coproducing whiteness and colouredness in a freestyle rap performance. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 24:277–93.10.1111/jola.12064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wissing, Daan (2009). Het jou môen jou pô ‘n strôndhuis by hartenbôs? Feit of fiksie? Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 24:87100.10.2989/16073610609486408CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Parodies of whiteness: Die Antwoord and the politics of race, gender, and class in South Africa
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Parodies of whiteness: Die Antwoord and the politics of race, gender, and class in South Africa
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Parodies of whiteness: Die Antwoord and the politics of race, gender, and class in South Africa
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *