• 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

Modernity and Racial Oppression
Modernity and racial oppression
The Question of South Africa's ‘Modernity’

A creeping disillusionment with materialist accounts and socialist diagnoses had by the middle to later 1980s opened the way to a new kind of analysis of South Africa's racial order, one issuing not from Marxism but from post-structuralism and post-modernism. According to these newer perspectives – which have, like Marxism before them, gained ground in tandem with fashion shifts in Europe and America – the South African racial order is one instance of a larger phenomenon: modernity. Post-modernists and post-structuralists understand capitalism, socialism and the South African racial order alike as products of a modernist western historical ...

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