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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contesting a 'cult(ure) of respectability': anti-colonial resistance in the Western Cape, 1935-1950
Author:Sandwith, CorinneISNI
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:action groups
Abstract:This paper examines two main traditions of anticolonial resistance in the Western Cape in the period 1935 to 1950. From the 1930s onwards, a younger generation of petit bourgeois intellectuals and activists schooled in the left-wing traditions of groups like the Workers Party of South Africa, rose to prominence in the Western Cape, launching a systematic attack on the politics and practices of what they regarded as a reactionary and compromised older generation of leaders. Critical of the obsession with bourgeois 'respectability' amongst the existing leaders, these young radicals rejected the artificial social distinctions by means of which one class (or racial group) secures its position in society at the expense of all the rest. These issues were publicly debated in the local newspapers and journals. This paper focuses on the Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM), a nonracial political organization, with its roots in Cape Town's Trotskyist Left, which emerged in 1943. In a comparison of the NEUM and the more conservative traditions against which this movement arose, the paper focuses particularly on the place of culture in the developing anticolonial resistance movement. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]