Historical Lenses Discussion Board Post

History can be interpreted differently depending on what an author aims to claim or discuss. Moreover, a historical event might be considered severe for economics yet be beneficial for society, therefore it is necessary to identify the lenses applied in secondary sources. I chose the peer-reviewed article “Urban planning in post-apartheid South African cities: The case of Johannesburg,” written by Totaforti, S., to analyze how a point of view on history determines the thesis and arguments.

My research topic is South African Apartheid, the racial segregation regime that lasted for more than 50 years in South Africa. The secondary sources about this historical topic often affected by social lenses due to the significant impact of the event on people’s values worldwide. Totafori (2020) states that “ the ways in which African societies are progressively urbanizing do not seem compatible with the theories and models that traditionally define urban dynamic” (p. 509). This quote reveals that the author aims to determine the outcomes of Apartheid for communities instead of objectively describing the historical event. When the Apartheid was over, South Africa went through major governmental transformations, and they affected the structures of its cities. Totafori (2020) claims that “inequality and socio-political exclusion in African urban contexts the way in which the population reacts by organizing collective and new urban cultures” (p. 513). The author sees the consequences of the regime through political lenses while discussing the country’s urbanization trends.


Totaforti, S. (2020). Urban planning in post-apartheid South African cities: The case of Johannesburg. Open Journal of Political Science, 10(3), 507-520. Web.

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