Quo vadis: transplanting lives of South African women settling in Australia

van Rensburg, Henriette and Hatoss, Aniko (2007) Quo vadis: transplanting lives of South African women settling in Australia. In: 2007 International Women's Conference: Education, Employment and Everything... theTriple Layers of a Woman's Life, 26-29 Sep 2007, Toowoomba, Australia.

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Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a study which explored the emerging difficulties South African women experience while settling in Australia. The aim of the study was to discover whether (and how) South African women maintain their cultural heritage and whether they transmit it to the next generation; how they balance their identity and make cultural adjustments to acculturate in a new country; and how they manage communication difficulties that arise from being speakers of English as a Second Language (ESL). By examining survey and interview data, the paper discusses the complex issue of maintaining a home culture while embracing a new. As one woman explains, “I will always be a South African. I doubt whether I will ever be a “true blue” Aussie, as there are some cultural aspects connected to the term. I try to acquire the new culture wherever possible…will probably always be South African Aussie…” Two main themes of the study are discussed in this paper: (1) What attitudes do South African immigrant women have towards their cultural and language heritage and the maintenance of this heritage in Australia?; and (2) How do they reshape their identities as South African Australian women? In this paper it is argued that “transplanting lives” in a new country might be viewed as having three layers of an immigrant’s life: ‘uprooting’, ‘transplanting’ and ‘preserving’.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright is retained by the author.
Depositing User: Dr Henriette Janse van Rensburg
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2010 04:21
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: cultural and linguistic adjustment; immigrant communities; Australia; South Africans; Afrikaans; language maintenance and shift
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200208 Migrant Cultural Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2004 Linguistics > 200405 Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160103 Linguistic Anthropology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/8000

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