A deeper look at a South African youth culture where luxury goods are trashed

A shorthand in South Africa is a young black urban resident, dressed stylishly, who indulges in conspicuous, destructive consumption. The izikhothane – usually male teenagers – gather regularly on the weekends to engage in mock battles in which luxury items are destroyed. This name comes from the Zulu word ukukhotha, which means “to lick”. In urban slang, it is used to indicate boast.

No one can agree on the exact date when this ” youth trend” began. There’s good reason to think that the Ukukhothana culture can be traced back to 2005. It started in the East Rand townships before spreading to the other provinces. Townships in South Africa are settlements outside of towns and cities that the white apartheid governments created to house people classified as black.

izikhothane often wears designer clothing and jackets at ukukhothana. In the context of the township, they also bring expensive junk food such as KFC, Debonair’s Pizza, and DMD shirts. The food is accompanied by alcohol, such as Biscuit Hennessy Jameson. These are traditionally associated with wealthy people.

The events are interesting because of what happens to the expensive items when there is an audience and loud noises. The costly clothing is sometimes torn, burned, or trampled. Food is thrown at each other and on the ground in a playful, boastful way. Alcohol is used both to wash the hands and pour on the floor. All of this is done to display wealth, style, and swag and to attract cheers, attention, and respect from rival teams.

It is not surprising that a subculture such as this has been poorly received in a developing country like South Africa. The media and society often criticize it for being wasteful. , for instance, referred to Izikhothane on national television as “bling gone obscenely crazy.” Why does Izikhothane indulge in conspicuous consumption despite having limited resources?

We have all studied the subculture of this subculture over several years. In a recent paper, we explored the relationship between consumption and dehumanisation. This subculture has a long-standing history of fashion consciousness, dating back to the “diamondfield dadies” in the 1800s and “oswenkas” in the 1900s. We believe that ukukhothana can be a way to regain a sense of self-worth and pride among the survivors of apartheid in South Africa.

Consumption, identity, and consumption

In 1979, UK anthropologist Mary Douglas and UK economist Baron Isherwood proposed that consumption was a deliberate act. It is often used to convey identity, cultural values, and social circumstances. Consuming goods can be a way to express social identity. They also have deeper meanings. The concept of “conspicuous consumerism” of US sociologist Thorsteinveblen captures the phenomenon. It is the act of displaying status and wealth through extravagant spending.

This framework can help us understand Izikhothane. This is an attempt to show their defiance and assert themselves in a world that has historically marginalized people who look like them. Apartheid was a system that treated black people as less-than-human. During this time, black people were treated as less than human.

Dehumanization is the practice of viewing others as fundamentally inferior and different, perpetuating stereotypical thinking and preventing empathy. This practice is harmful to both those who are dehumanized as well as the ones who degrade. Devaluing the humanity of others strips individuals of their humanizing qualities. The psychological impact of stereotypes is profound.

The process of dehumanization is the nuanced approach to reverse dehumanization. The sartorial expression can be a key part of dehumanisation.

Material possessions have a major influence on how we perceive other people. The possessions people own are used to not only express their identity but also to create the “best” version of themselves.

Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *