White identity development at the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) from 1965-1968 through the use of language and religion
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The primary goal in the establishment of RAU in 1968 was the educational advancement of the white Afrikaans speaker on the Witwatersrand. A secondary goal was the development of white Afrikaans identity in higher education through the use of the Afrikaans language and Christian religion. This was done by means of academic and scientific programmes. The Afrikaner culture in its entirety had to be nurtured. Although the RAU, for the majority of white Afrikaans speakers, represented a momentous time in terms of its creation history and architectural design it also had its main aim the moulding of a new modern Afrikaans identity. The perceived struggling “Boer” – “proletarian” and working class character of the white Afrikaans speaker had to make way for an emerging middle class: modern and sophisticated. In this article, light is shed on the role of especially language and religion in developing a modern white Afrikaans identity at RAU, later renamed the University of Johannesburg.