Reimagining diversity in post-apartheid observatory, Cape Town: a discourse analysis

The project problematizes the notion of a transformed society while addressing and evaluating its meaning in the multicultural post-apartheid neighbourhood of Observatory, Cape Town. Observatory is a previously predominantly English-speaking community of Observatory. Confluent concepts such as ‘multilingualism’, ‘hybridity’ and ‘community’ are in focus within the historical and contemporary context of a newly established democratic South Africa. The data base strictly comprises qualitative data with a focus on a discourse and narratives supplied by informants during interviews and temporal and spatial descriptions of research sites, including photographic documentation of linguistic landscapes, and social interaction, translocations and community membership, that illustrate concerns of identity and language inintegration in Observatory. Focus therefore rest on issues such as hybridity, identity resources, translocal and transnational cultural flows, localization and globalization.

The data is amenable to research pertaining to a deeper understanding of migration, transnational and transcultural flows, hybridity and identity, semiotic landscape and place branding. Exploration into the appropriation of space by ‘newcomers’ and the subsequent reimaginings of space into place would be a particularly relevant research interest here.