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Race, Class and the Post-Apartheid Democratic State

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Sitting Pretty: White Afrikaans Women in Postapartheid South Africa
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Price: R 365
Publication Date: 2017-10-30
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 978 1 86914 376 3
Width: 150
Height: 230
Pages: 256

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'Sitting Pretty' offers a path-breaking, nuanced and insightful reading of "Afrikaner" women . . . and critically also explores the redemptive possibilities of dissenting Afrikaners . . . Van der Westhuizen's mapping of struggles to fix meaning in popular culture makes a serious contribution to our understanding of the complexities of the postapartheid order, and to what is demanded from us if we are truly to realise that order.'
— Aletta Norval, professor of Political Theory, University of Essex, and author of Deconstructing Apartheid Discourse

'Christi van der Westhuizen is one of South Africa's most incisive analysts of "the social" . . . Her work is simply superb, courageous and sophisticated.'
— André Keet, professor of Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation, Nelson Mandela University

'Compelling reading . . . This book can be considered essential for scholars with an interest in the politics of othering and inequality in South Africa.'
— Norman Duncan, professor of Psychology and vice-principal, University of Pretoria

'Well-established critical commentator Van der Westhuizen offers an important contribution to the growing field of critical whiteness studies . . .'
— Shona Hunter, associate professor of Sociology and Social Policy Governance, University of Leeds, and author of Power, Politics and the Emotions: Impossible Governance
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Is Sitting Pretty a Case of White Afrikaans Woman Sitting Pretty Uncomfortably? JULY 24, 2018 ~ DEBEERNECESSITIES [More]
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Review by Marlene de Beer < i> Transformation 98 (2018) Sitting Pretty: white Afrikaans women in postapartheid South Africa, examines the intersectionality and unstable nature of race, class, gender, and culture in the post-apartheid South African Symbolic. The book delivers a well-researched overview of the culturally constructed volksmoeder myth, and a critical analysis of Afrikaner constructions of subjectivity. Van der Westhuizen argues that the fall of apartheid and constitutional democracy resulted in an Afrikaner identity crisis, exacerbated by a collective humiliation bestowed on the architects of apartheid. [More]

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At the opening of South Africa’s first democratic parliament in 1994, newly elected president Nelson Mandela issued a clarion call to an unlikely group: white Afrikaans women, who during apartheid occupied the ambivalent position of being both oppressor and oppressed. He conjured the memory of poet Ingrid Jonker as ‘both an Afrikaner and an African’ who ‘instructs that our endeavours must be about the liberation of the woman, the emancipation of the man and the liberty of the child’.


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