A social segmentation model of the diverse and complex South African society with broader implications for the research industry

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    By Jan Wegelin, Dr Petrus de Kock and Dr Elsa Thirion-Venter

    As a young democracy, many attributes shape our behaviour as we consider what South Africa is as a nation developing from a now abandoned historical path. To understand the impact dynamics of a pluralistic society coming together, a tailored segmentation model was developed. The model was based on four constructs: national identity, national pride, active citizenship and social cohesion. The aim was to encompass insight into attitudes, behaviours, and opinions as they are manifested in the realms of politics, business and civil society. A multi-methodological approach was followed, including Omnibus, online survey, focus group and in-depth interview methods, resulting in ten behavioural groups or segments that articulate the key anchor points of South Africans. Monitoring these groups yields insight into levels of integration, social engagement and citizenship, and assists in building a body of knowledge to inform and direct a nation in the making.

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    A social segmentation model of the diverse and complex South African society with broader implications for the research industry