Imagining xenophobia: Life orientation, language and literature

  • Stanley Ridge


This article argues that if the learning area Life Orientation is to give substance to the recommendations of the James Report (2000) values will have to be imaginatively apprehended and reinterpreted in each life situation. This article explores ways of using language and literature study to give imaginative access to xenophobia, a key social problem in South Africa (and beyond) and so taking Life Orientation beyond the letter of the lay to honouring its ‘spirit, purport and objects’ (Constitution 39.(2)). The three literary works used in this case are Judges 12 (New International Bible), Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson) and Welcome to our Hillbrow (Phaswane Mpe).


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Author Biography

Stanley Ridge
Professor Stanley Ridge is Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of the Western Cape. He has published widely in the field of language policy.Email: