Apartheid is an Afrikaner word that means “separateness” or “apartness.” It represents a cluster of policies that were designed to achieve “total separation” between races in South Africa, the effect of which was to preserve the economic and political privilege of the White minority. The application of apartheid led to a vast program of social engineering that lent constitutional legitimacy to the subjugation of the non-White majority. In this entry, the theory, practice, demise, and legacy of apartheid will be discussed, with a focus on its effects on intergroup thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Historical and Theoretical Context

Apartheid in South Africa cannot be understood without being placed in its historical context. For centuries, descendents of the Dutch settlers (the Afrikaners) coexisted uneasily with native African tribes who ...

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