To explain the Soweto uprising different authors place emphasis on various factors.
Some highlight structural changes in the economy and society, including political
changes brought about by apartheid; some stress the emergence of youth subcultures
in Soweto’s secondary schools in the 1970s; some emphasise the transformative role
of Black Consciousness and its associated organisations; others give prominence to
revolutionary theory and stress the role of the various liberation movements; some
underline the ideological role of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at selected
schools; and others insist on educational, epistemological and pedagogical factors
that fostered resistance through the ‘autonomous’ actions of parents and students.
All these important causal factors need to be taken into account when analysing the
historical origins of the Soweto uprising.