Ideas And Things Effect Social Change Cultural Studies Essay

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The world we live into day is one which is more connected than it has been ever before. This has allowed the transfer of information from one country or culture to another more possible than it has been in previous decades. In turn this has made the circulation of people and ideas easier which developed a sense of unity and closeness to these groups. This increased level of mobility can influence social change in a number of ways. One example of how increased mobility and circulation can effect social change is the south African apartheid which lasted four decades (BBC, 2013)

The in the South African apartheid Black people faced racial discrimination which was upheld by laws. Under the apartheid Black South Africans were considered to be inferior. In south Africa during the apartheid racial groups were segregated in to area. This segregation produced a racial hierarchy privileging white South Africans over the black community which was there (BBC, 2013). It has been argued that without the international support of the anti apartheid movement it would have taken much longer for the apartheid to end. The apartheid became not only a national issue but also an international one. For example in just Britain alone in the 1990 there were 184 local groups associated with the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (Thorn, 2006). Thorn stated that "Given the number of people that participated in the transnational anti-apartheid movement, as well as its geographical dispersion and its achievements, there is no doubt that it was one of the most influential social movements during the post-war era" (Thorn, 2006). The apartheid was become an issue for the whole of the world and influenced politics from around the globe . Thörn stated that "The global struggle against apartheid represented an emergence of various 'new social movements' " (Thörn, 2009) . The support gained which opposed the apartheid was the product of various methods and strategies produced by the Anti Apartheid Movement.

The media played an important role in the struggle against the apartheid as it informed people about what was occurring and how the ordinary man could get involved (Thörn, 2007). In many social movements mediaization is a important process as it promotes social change via the use of globalisation and therefore is able to get people more aware and involved in a movement. Schechter was an anti-apartheid activist who believed that the media could play a role in the anti apartheid movement (Thörn, 2009). Schechter felt that the anti-apartheid movement was not just important for social change within South Africans but it also indicated that a diverse groups of people can unite even if they are from different backgrounds and countries (Thörn, 2009). He felt that the use of music and television to publicise support against the apartheid was a important tool. For example in 1985 Schechter and Steven van Zandt record and made a music video for "Sun City" which produced to support anti apartheid. The song got peoples interest and therefore media as it succeeding in getting 54 well-known artists of that time to participate in it (Thörn, 2009). At first the songs were not well received as they were criticised as being too radical, however when MTV launched the video's gained more popularity. For many these songs become the signature for the transnational anti-apartheid movement's and intensified the campaign against South Africa at the end of the 1980s (Thörn, 2009).

Another example of how the anti apartheid movement used the media to publicise the movement to the world was the publication of the Anti-Apartheid News .The Anti Apartheid movement work closely with the British media and was able to increase the coverage of South African events in Britain. The anti apartheid movements protests targeted important building or sites to protest outside as it obviously attached more media attention (Thörn, 2007) However the AAM also created the Anti-Apartheid News which reported and commented on South African developments .The paper however was not widely bought outside the UK but it did help form the ideas of anti-apartheid activists and played a role in directing international anti-apartheid activity (Klein, 2011)

International recognition and support gave the ANC the opportunity to talk to world leaders and bodies, such as the United Nations (UN), and to international funds (Klein, 2011). However The ANC was aware that it needed the international recognition to be effective. The AAM had a close relationship with the UN Special Committee it resulted in the activities and views having a broader impact (Klein, 2011). This close relationship between the UN and the ANC was developed by Enuga Reddy .

Enuga Reddy was born in 1924 in India and had been involved in the Indian national liberation movement before the apartheid (Thörn, 2009). In 1949 he got a position as a political officer in the UN Secretariat, doing research for the UN on Africa and the Middle East. Later in 1963 when the UN Special Committee against Apartheid was formed, Reddy was appointed its principal secretary (Thörn, 2009). Reddt stated this was advantageous as from this position he could aid the people active in the liberation struggle in southern Africa as well as the solidarity movements globally. At this time NGOs did not have any recognition in the UN due to this the Special Committee against Apartheid was unique. Reddy believed that it was crucial to have a network of transnational anti-apartheid activism globally and this was that was delivered from the early 1960s and onwards. The committee also organised conferences in which anti-apartheid organisations could make contacts." This gave the organisation the opportunity to improve strategies and talk about tactics. This was beneficial as when these representatives went back to their countries it meant they could spread this information throughout (Thörn, 2009) .

For example at meeting such as those set up by Reddy the anti apartheid movement also circulated its ideas on how organisation should make a stand about the apartheid. It has been stated that the use of non violent action was an important factor in ending the apartheid in South Africa (Zunes, 1999). It was found that armed protests actually harmed the anti-apartheid movement. For example the bombing campaign by the ANC's armed wing, Umkonto We Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), in the early 1960s offered the South African government to justify their repression stating that it was terrorism (Zunes, 1999). Non-violent action such as boycotts and demonstrations became a popular method of opposing the apartheid (Zunes, 1999). These non violent protest placed pressure on the public and governments to act (Klotz, 2002). Non-violent has been defined by Zunes as "a conflict behaviour consisting of unconventional acts implemented for purposive change without intentional damage to persons or property" (Zunes, 1999). Non-violent action is advantageous as it puts pressure on is governments are ultimately dependent on the compliance of the people or organisations (Zunes, 1999; Sommer, 1996). Sommer states that "Active nonviolent protest and persuasion involve symbolic action intended to persuade an opponent, or express a group's disapproval or dissent" (Sommer, 1996).

The Boycott Movement was initiated by Albert Luthuli, President of the African National Congress (ANC) who called for people to stop engaging in economic deals with South Africa in December 1959 (John, 2000) . This boycott of South African goods was supported by various countries and had a knock on effect on the South African. The intension of the boycott was to isolate the apartheid regime economically and this was achieved via a campaign against foreign banks involved in South Africa (John, 2000; Gurney, 2009). There was also the Sullivan framework which emerged through the 1960s to the 1970s. This framework was developed for a number for reasons. There was a growing international movement focusing on the disenfranchisement of South African in order to end apartheid by damaging the economy of South Africa (Seidman, 2003; Seidman, 2003). Many stated that this disenfranchisement was needed as it would make people think about their social responsible investing (Seidman, 2003)

One example of one of these boycotts was the disenfranchisement of Barclays from South Africa Banks Britain was a main participant in the investment of foreign capital to South Africa (John, 2000). In 1991 the ANC concluded that the 'Financial sanctions have been a critical pressure point which has pushed the process of political transformation to where it is today (John, 2000). The pressure for Barclays to back out from South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s came from the NUS with the support of many UK universities called for a boycott of Barclays over its involvement in South Africa's apartheid regime. The boycott influenced a number of students to stop using Barclays bank. In fact in the 1980s the bank's share of the UK student market was 15 per cent (Pagano, 2012). In 1986 Barclays pulled out of South Africa because it couldn't afford to lose any more custom or to further damage to its reputation (Pagano, 2012).

The anti-apartheid movement has been describe as a " hybrid collection of transnational advocacy networks organised around loosely connected causes related to human rights, social equity, democracy, anti-racism and anti-imperialism" (Cornelissen, 2011). Transnational social movement such as the anti-apartheid movement may have a few leaders but they also consist of thousands of key activists. These Key activists help to connect the movements networks by co-ordinating and communicating information about the movement (Thörn, 2009).

A lot of the anti apartheid movement consisted of "action at a distance". (Thorn, 2006) . For example the 'external mission' of the ANC became paramount in ensuring the movement's survival (Pfister, 2003; Alden, 1993) . The challenge of this mission was taken up by many exiled South Africans move to many of the European cities (Sapire, 2009). Travel was seen as essential For some activists. It was believed that journeys to Southern Africa led gave people the opportunity to understand and experience the apartheid system which led them to feel more commitment to the struggle (Thorn, 2006). It also give the opportunity to expand networks between anti apartheid groups.

It has been indicated that the mobilization of contemporary social movements is reliant upon previously existing movement networks (Thörn, 2007) . Sapire has stated that the strong level of support from the UK to the Anti apartheid movement reflect the deep historical connections with Southern Africa (Sapire, 2009) ."The movement to abolish apartheid in South Africa was perhaps the most highly transnationally integrated social movement during the post war era" states Thörn (Sapire, 2009; Thörn, 2007). Migrants have a connection to their country of origin and therefore influence the area they have migrated to (Levitt, 2003). Migration to Britain during the 1960's changed the demographic of the country from a largely white society into one with which was diverse in its ethnic and cultural. This change resulted in feeling of hostility toward immigrants (Gurney, 2009).In the late 19th century there was a trend of migration from Africa to Britain and other European countries. Williams States that "People of African descent in Britain felt the insult of apartheid most keenly because of past and contemporary manifestations of racism in Britain" (Williams, 2012). This sparked acts of solidarity and saw groups of African migrants joining the ANC or the PAC (Williams, 2012).

Black teens in the 1970's and 1980's there was a growing self-awareness of their cultural and felt connected to South Africa and therefore the apartheid (Williams, 2012). Young black youths grew angry due to prejudice they felt in Britain and in many relating to Rastafarianism and its redemption from white oppression (Williams, 2012). Reggae artists with anti-apartheid messages in their music had a greater impact on black Britain's (Williams, 2012). These artists not only called for solidarity, but many also made direct comparisons between the struggle of Africans in South Africa and the black community's fight against racism in Britain (Williams, 2012).

They anti apartheid movement also used the south African culture to try to gain international support for the struggle against apartheid (Gilbert, 2007). In the 1980s the ANC began to use of culture to contribute to the process of national liberation (Gilbert, 2007). Raymond Williams, defines culture as "the works and practices of intellectual and especially artistic activity" (Gilbert, 2007). Gilbert stated that "The word 'culture' occupies an important place in ANC vocabulary" (Gilbert, 2007).

Mayibuye was established in 1975 and was able to raising international awareness about the anti-apartheid movement and African culture (Gilbert, 2007).In 1974 The Mayibuye Cultural Ensemble, staged Poets to the People in the Mermaid Theatre in London (Gilbert, 2007). The performance presented 31 readings of poetry consisted of political and traditional South African songs (Gilbert, 2007). As the concept of Poets to the People began to be more influential in England, many activists who were in exile argued that the use of presenting the south African culture to the world should play a more active and important role in the anti apartheid movement (Gilbert, 2007)

From the success of Poets to the People The group Mayibuye was formed. The group was important for increasing solidarity but also for promoting the ANC to younger South Africans . Mayibuye soon gained international recognising from anti-apartheid groups throughout Britain and Europe (Gilbert, 2007).Mayibuye was able to adapt its performance to make a bigger impact on its ordinance. For example for its Amsterdam performances in 1975 it made references to Dutch trade figures and businessmen or politicians who had been involvement with apartheid South Africa. Mayibuye did over 200 performances across Europe in its five years of activity (Gilbert, 2007).

The transnational anti-apartheid movement created a network of solidarity (Thörn, 2009). Solidarity involves a shared collective identity or belief . In this light it meant that anyone doing anything to make a stand against the apartheid was a part of this network of solidarity (Thorn, 2006).The Anti apartheid movement consisted of various international groups (Thörn, 2007). This highlights the existence of solidarity towards the South African apartheid. Klein states that "International concern led to growing support for the liberation movements and increasing criticism of apartheid, which helped the liberation movements survive exile" (Klein, 2011). Klein stated that "Harnessing international support for the struggle against apartheid was a major aspect of international solidarity work, and publicising the atrocities of apartheid and the role of the liberation movements in combating apartheid was therefore a campaign priority" (Klein, 2011). By 1990 the ANC had gain mass support for the anti apartheid movement, both inside and outside South Africa (Sapire, 2009) .United Kingdom lead one of the largest and most sustained international solidarity movement which that traversed national boundaries (Sapire, 2009) . In January 1988 Fancis Meli said "Solidarity is vital for us because we do not regard international solidarity as an external factor but as one of the weapons against the enemy" (Klein, 2011).

Mobility played an important role within the Apartheid movement and ultimately ending the apartheid. For example it has been said that "A social movement is a process of action and interaction involving as a fundamental element the construction of a collective identity, or a sense of community, of 'us' sharing a set of values and norms, and 'others'" (Thorn, 1997) .It has also been found that the fight against the apartheid 'inside' South Africa was influenced by the 'outside' south Africa and vice versa (Thörn, 2009). The anti-apartheid movement therefore demonstrate how transnational social movements in two different national boundaries can unite around issues of race despite barriers of time, distance and culture" (Klotz, 2002). For example the circulation of information passed between groups at conferences played an important role as a space for networking. The discussions which went on at their events allowed there to be coordination of national as well as transnational campaigns (Thorn, 2006). it has been stated by Thörn that "The global anti-apartheid movement mobilised millions of people who took part in boycotts and demonstrations" (Thörn, 2009). The majority of these groups were found outside of South Africa which emphasises the use of transnationalism and solidarity. The anti apartheid movement therefore put pressure on the south African government to end the apartheid and therefore influenced social change.