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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Shopping during a revolution: entrepreneurs, retailers and 'white' identity in the democratic transition
Author:Hyslop, JonathanISNI
Periodical:Historia: amptelike orgaan
Geographic term:South Africa
retail trade
political change
Abstract:This article examines the question of why white South Africans, despite the continuing influence of various forms of racial ideology, and despite their indifference to much of the suffering around them, did in fact opt for change during South Africa's democratic transition. A factor in this transition during the period 1985-1995 was a shift in the subjectivity of white South Africans, which was important in their acceptance of the process of change. New patterns of consumption and their attendant globalizing cultural influences created self-reflexive forms of self-identity amongst whites which were inimical to mobilization in nationalist and statist projects. This argument is developed through a case study of the West Rand area in the transition period, focusing on the social role of entrepeneurs and retailers. The article surveys the course of the political conflicts in the area, showing how these impacted on business people. It then examines a number of case studies derived from interviews with business owners of the area in this period, which are used to illustrate the broader argument. Particular attention is given to the consumerist ethos and its interaction with the factors such as religion, ethnicity and the work ethic. Notes, ref., sum. in English and Afrikaans [Journal abstract]