Describe how the author is using the notion of ‘gaze’ to discuss identity in post-apartheid South Africa. In particular, what does he mean by a ‘perpetual economy of misrecognition’?
The author uses gaze t o refers to the different types of groups, whether local or global, that sees the South Africans as something different. This causes confusion when people who are under the gaze are confused by certain types of culture and how they want to be represented. A “perpetual economy of misrecognition” is where subjectivities are formed in anticipation of a regulating and desiring gaze.
What does the author mean by the notion of an ‘anxious awareness’ developed by South Africans under apartheid? How does this connect with the idea of a ‘flatness of public perception’?
The term “anxious awareness” is used to describe a constant second-guessing of the gaze of the state. Almost every South African lived with a constant fear of getting panelized by the law, forcing people to constrain themselves more than normal. “Flatness of public perception” refers to a structure of social life in which a sense of individuality seems possible and comforting within one’s own racial-cultural world.
Why is the transition from apartheid to democracy termed a ‘miracle’? How does this balance with notions of ‘unfreedom’ and ‘freedom’ as explained by the author?
This transition seems like a miracle since it is courageous to leave the protective security of a county and enter the public realm. This courage “liberates men from their worry about life for the freedom of the world. Because of this new freedom, people felt like they could live better lives, with secure jobs and education.
What are the elements of a ‘Melancholia of Freedom’ amongst the Indian population studied by the author?
Anxiety, embarrassment, and obsessions with the gaze and visibility are some of the elements studied by the author.
Describe the two analytical rubrics the author was confronted with during fieldwork. How do these translate into a notion of ‘our culture’?
The two analytical rubrics included the concept of “diaspora”, which was shown by the connection to Southern Asian influences like Bollywood, and everyday life, which is the structured routines of movement, work, and leisure.