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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Beastly whiteness: animal kinds and the social imagination in South Africa
Author:White, Hylton
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 2332-3264)
Geographic term:South Africa
rural households
social relations
Abstract:This article examines how in Zulu households in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, animals are marked as beings with ethnic properties, such as 'Zulu' or 'White' chickens. The author argues that if animals can be understood as being ethnically distinguishable, this means that the implicit imagination of difference that is at stake should be reconsidered. Ethnic categories do not appear to point at differences between separate human kinds. Instead, they nominate differences between co-existing kinds of social ties. In this case, 'Zuluness' and 'Whiteness' name two different ways of metabolizing money into forms of kinship. The marking of animal life as either Zulu or White is a gesture based on a complex series of underlying domestic operations whereby animals animate variations on models or patterns of social ife in households. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]