Taking disadvantage seriously: The ‘underclass’ in post-apartheid South Africa

 

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Seekings, Jeremy
dc.date.accessioned 2016-05-09T12:30:34Z
dc.date.available 2016-05-09T12:30:34Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0001972013000703
dc.identifier.citation Seekings, J. (2014). Taking disadvantage seriously: the ‘underclass’ in post-apartheid South Africa. Africa, 84, pp 135-141. doi: 10.1017/S0001972013000703 en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0001-9720 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19531
dc.description.abstract Inequalities are stark and obvious in post-apartheid South Africa. How to analyse inequalities, however, is far less clear. In Class, Race and Inequality in South Africa (Seekings and Nattrass 2005), we combined original analysis of quantitative data with critical use of a wide range of secondary historical, anthropological and sociological studies to examine both continuities and changes in the South African social structure over the second half of the twentieth century. Of the various arguments made in our book, the one that provokes the most criticism is our identification of an ‘underclass’ in post-apartheid South Africa. Focusing on this, Callebert (2014)1 argues that our analysis ‘assume[s] a fundamental divide in South Africa’s economy based on socio-economic exclusion’, ‘fail[s] to capture the many ways in which people cross these divides in making a living’ and has ‘problematic policy implications’. In his account, we offer a ‘bifurcated’ or ‘dualist’ analysis of the South African economy. ‘Access to formal sector jobs’ is the ‘new and fundamental divide that runs through South African society ... . In this [that is, our] argument, being a labourer no longer puts one among the lower rungs of society, but is a privilege ... .’ For Seekings and Nattrass, he writes, ‘the true socio-economic divide ... is between those with and those without access to jobs and other income-earning opportunities’. We are guilty, it seems, of proposing not only that ‘the poor’ should become ‘low-paid labourers’, but that ‘non-unionized low-paid jobs’ should be created ‘at the expense of better-paid unionized employees’ en_ZA
dc.language eng en_ZA
dc.publisher Cambridge University Press en_ZA
dc.source Africa en_ZA
dc.source.uri http://www.internationalafricaninstitute.org/journal.html
dc.title Taking disadvantage seriously: The ‘underclass’ in post-apartheid South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Journal Article en_ZA
dc.date.updated 2016-05-09T11:36:57Z
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Article en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Centre for Social Science Research(CSSR) en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record