• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Providing a wide-ranging and critical introduction to contemporary South Africa, this book uses an interdisciplinary lens to introduce the student to the main debates, historical context, and issues that have characterized the study of South Africa over the last three decades. Key topics include: the role of colonialism, capitalism and modernity in the formation of the racial order; changes in the South African state; questions of class, race and ehtnicity; black resistance; and the transition to democracy. A number of underlying debates are critically evaluated. For exmple, the contribution of materialist and class-analytic approaches, the application of post-structuralism and theories of modernity, and th


South Africa is now more than a decade into a process of democratic transition that has, amongst many other things, transformed the terms in which the country's politics and society are debated. Yet this transition falls in turn against the backdrop of three decades of scholarship which themselves witnessed profound change, in this case within intellectual history. How does the intellectual transformation that began around 1970 now look, viewed now from the vantage point of a time when two social orders central to earlier debates have experienced fundamental shifts of fortune? The one social order, that of legally institutionalized racial domination, disappeared some time between 1991 and 1994. The other, capitalism, has by contrast, and during roughly the same period, seen its star rise. ...

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