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‘Ik ben een Afrikaander’: Redrawing Afrikaner Ethnic Boundaries in New Zealand

Kris Finlayson


This paper examines the state of Afrikaner identity in a New Zealand diasporic context, exploring perceptions, experiences, how Afrikaners see themselves fitting into their community, and how this community fits into New Zealand society. Through biographic narrative interviews, participants described an implied representation of Afrikaner which was then constructed into an analytic model consisting of four key characteristics: heritage; faith as a cultural value; language; and, a conservative worldview. Participants referred to themselves against this model in order to ascertain how ‘typical’ they are regarding shared community behaviour and perspectives. Although New Zealand and Afrikaner-South African societies are vastly different, New Zealand’s socially liberal worldview allows an easy transition for today’s comparatively diverse Afrikaners. This transitional process and ethnic boundary modification was found to impact Afrikaner identity in varying ways, particularly related to areas of personal security, new friendship formation, manner of speech, and how they perceived what New Zealanders think about Afrikaners.


Afrikaners, Ethnic Identity, Ethnography, New Zealand, Migrants.

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