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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Domesticity of Afrikaner Nationalism: Volksmoeders and the ACVV, 1904-1929
Author:Du Toit, MarijkeISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
women's organizations
History and Exploration
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3557414
Abstract:In the first two decades of the twentieth century - so crucial for the formation of Afrikaner nationalism - women were seemingly acquiescent supporters of a male-constructed ideology. A history of the Afrikaanse Christelike Vroue Vereniging (Afrikaans Christian Women's Society) demonstrates the entanglement of early Afrikaner nationalism with racially circumscribed philanthropic ventures through which women located themselves in an elaborated sphere of the domestic. In the aftermath of the South African War, Dutch-Afrikaans women targeted impoverished whites for help whilst also actively participating in the construction of racialized Afrikaner culture. Contrary to existing historiography, maternalist discourse long predated the conservative 'Volksmoeder' ideology asserted by Afrikaner nationalist men in the late 1910s. ACVV leaders drew on an idealized notion of motherhood first elaborated in Dutch Reformed Church magazines during the late nineteenth century, meshing religious with nationalist identity. The first generation of ACVV women were careful to preserve the independence of their organization and carve out a place in public whilst also signalling their support for the dominant gender order. From the 1920s, however, a second generation of nationalist women took up leadership positions in philanthropic, cultural and party-political organizations. Theirs was the female dominion of politicized 'vrouesake' (women's issues). They embraced motherhood whilst seeking to extend their sphere of action to include active participation in formulating social policy. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]