Identity in the Siyagruva Series of novels: Toward an intercultural

  • R H Kaschula
Keywords: identity, intercultural studies, youth literature.


This article explores the notion of changing South African youth identity and how it is depicted in the Siyagruva [We are Grooving] Series of novels for young adults. The article highlights the need for a broadening of literary theory in order to include an appropriate theoretical approach for new South African youth literature. This theory explores intercultural literary discourse by making use of, for example, the work of intercultural theorists such as Ting-Toomey (1999), Gudykunst (2003) and others. It is argued that this form of literary discourse is now appropriate as a theoretical paradigm within multilingual South Africa where intercultural communication is becoming a reality. There is also reference to intracultural communication where differences are beginning to appear between young people who are perceived to come from the same cultural group, for example, the character Brunette in the Siyagruva Series who is perceived as a “coconut” by her friends, and thus finds herself having to justify her belonging within a particular in-group or culture. The article concentrates on selected novels, though reference is made to many of the twenty three published novels in the Siyagruva Series, twenty in English, and three translated into isiXhosa.

Keywords: identity, intercultural studies, youth literature.

> Tydskriff vir Letterkunde Vol. 44 (2) 2007: pp. 74-88

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2309-9070
print ISSN: 0041-476X