• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Sociology in the modern world faces many challenges. This edited volume explores significant themes including inequality, structures of power, conceptions of justice and sustainable futures, forming a critical examination across twenty-five individually authored chapters. This text forms part of SAGE Studies in International Sociology series (SSIS).

Thomas Piketty and the Marikana Massacre
Thomas Piketty and the Marikana Massacre
Peter Alexander

On August 16, 2012, the South African police intervened in a labor conflict between workers at the Marikana platinum mine near Johannesburg and the mine’s owners: the stockholders of Lonmin, Inc., based in London. Police fired on the strikers with live ammunition. Thirty-four miners were killed.

These lines may be familiar. They are the first ones in the first chapter of Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book Capital in the Twenty-first Century.1 Piketty (2014: 39–40, 571) refers to what happened at Marikana as a ‘tragedy’. It was the outcome of ‒ I will quote him ‒ ‘distributional conflict’ between, on the one hand, workers living in ‘wretched conditions’ and, on the ...

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