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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Shosholoza: political culture in South Africa between the secular and the occult
Author:Jensen, SteffenISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:South Africa
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070.2012.656434
Abstract:In this article, the author explores the relationship between two central strands in contemporary political culture in South Africa, the secular and the occult. These two strands are often seen as running parallel to one another and perceived as mutually exclusive, where one is dominant while the other is confined to obscurity and rendered invisible. Contrary to this view, the author argues that historically both strands have co-existed in South Africa, and further that they animate one another. Indeed in South African politics the secular and the occult co-exist interdependently; their separation is a practice that legitimates specific forms of politics and the formation of political culture. The author explores and illustrates the co-dependency and intertwining of these political strands through two cases from Nkomazi (1986, 2003) which involved violent accusations of witchcraft, and ethnographic data collected in Mpumalanga, the province where Nkomazi is located, between 2002 and 2006 relating to witchcraft accusations. He relates this material to scholarly literature on South African capitalism and proletarianization, as well as gendered generational hierarchies. Through this analysis he wishes to contribute to current discussions about political culture in order to transcend narrow understandings of what constitutes politics in South Africa and beyond. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]