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“Whose nation?”: A study of nation-building in Namibia

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“Whose nation?”: A study of nation-building in Namibia


"Using a critical discourse analysis this study focuses on the Namibian nation-building process. The former colony gained its independence in 1990 from the South African apartheid administration. It was this oppressing social structure that gave the people a common enemy to unite against. It was from this unity that the Namibian identity sprung.

This study took place during three month in Namibia where nine people were interviewed. They all had contributed, or still contribute to the nation-building process in different ways. Some for example active in the liberation struggle, active in government or in political youth organizations. To further contextualize the Namibian society three local newspapers was followed during this time. The material is here discussed and analysed along with theories on nations and nationhood, identity and nationality as well as with post-colonialism and globalization.

The results show that the colonial history has affected many social structures of today. Both on an individual level as well as on an intergroup and a society level. The empirical material show tribalistic tendencies in the sense that tribal heritage sometimes is considered more important than a uniting Namibian identity. To put this in a wider perspective there is a discussion on how this relates to a global capitalist system."


Robin Lagergren


Linköping University








M.A. Thesis: Social and Welfare Studies (Linköping University)



Robin Lagergren, ““Whose nation?”: A study of nation-building in Namibia,” Namibia Digital Repository, accessed August 20, 2019,

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