Identity crisis?: youth, social and political identity in South Africa

Identity crisis?: youth, social and political identity in South Africa

How does youth identity in South Africa impact on participation in politics?

Youth in South Africa are faced with a number of challenges such as more active participation in politics, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, poverty, unemployment, crime and a lack of education. All of these factors influence the way in which the youth identifies itself and how it interacts within society - especially how it integrates into society.

This paper aims to understand youth identity in South Africa since 1990 in order to engage the youth more actively in political activity. It illustrates the status of the youth and the challenges they currently face within the South African society, and provides an overview of some of the organisations that have been created to assist the youth, some of the ways in which they contribute to youth development and the consolidation of South Africa’s democracy, as well as their role in shaping youth identity. Youth participation in political activities and democracy and their voting patterns in the county’s elections is also discussed.

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