Gender, community and identity : women and Afrikaner nationalism in the Volksmoeder discourse of Die Boerevrou (1919-1931)

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Du Toit, André en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Kruger, Lou-Marie en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-02-29T11:56:46Z
dc.date.available 2016-02-29T11:56:46Z
dc.date.issued 1991 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Kruger, L. 1991. Gender, community and identity : women and Afrikaner nationalism in the Volksmoeder discourse of Die Boerevrou (1919-1931). University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17313
dc.description Includes bibliographies. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract As a feminist exploration of the problematic relationship between Afrikaans women and Afrikaner nationalism, this thesis is primarily concerned with the construction of the social identities of Afrikaans women between 1919 and 1931, the crucial formative years of Afrikaner nationalism. The relationship between women and Afrikaner nationalism is thus addressed by an investigation at the level of intellectual history. The emergence of Afrikaner nationalism at the beginning of the 20th century was accompanied by the articulation of a distinctive gender discourse, the study of which is central to this thesis. Within this discourse, which may be termed the "volksmoeder" discourse, a new identity and new roles were contrived for Afrikaner women. We first investigate the social and historical context in which the discourse was generated and then analyse the "volksmoeder" discourse itself by focusing on texts from Die Boerevrou, a women's magazine launched by Mabel Malherbe in 1919. Rather than taking the Die Boerevrou-texts for granted or seeing them as simple reflections of reality, they are investigated as constructions. The questions of why these particular constructions had appeared in that specific context and what ends they achieved are posed. Rather than simply taking the discursive constructions at face value they are construed as "answers" to certain underlying social and historical issues. On a theoretical level the problem of the construction of gender and ethnic identities is informed by recent work in the field of discourse analysis, while the imagining or invention of nation-communities is discussed with reference to the work of Benedict Anderson, Ernst Gellner, Eric Hobsbawm and Tom Nairn. The investigation of Die Boerevrou-texts as particular articulations of the volksmoeder discourse shows how the social identities of Afrikaans women were socially constructed in the volksmoeder discourse. It suggests that the social subjectivities of Afrikaans women were by no means simple or transparent. In the texts of Die Boerevrou it becomes clear that even while being shaped by Afrikaner nationalism, women themselves were active in the shaping of Afrikaner nationalism. While they were constituted as subjects in the anti-feminist discourse of Afrikaner nationalism, they remained mobile within this discourse: always negotiating, planning, creating and articulating new identities and roles for themselves. The image of women as passive victims of a male Afrikaner discourses is thus denied. However, it is asserted that the volksmoeder discourse as a gender discourse can and should be severely criticised from a feminist perspective. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Political Studies en_ZA
dc.subject.other Afrikaners en_ZA
dc.subject.other Women en_ZA
dc.subject.other South Africa - History en_ZA
dc.title Gender, community and identity : women and Afrikaner nationalism in the Volksmoeder discourse of Die Boerevrou (1919-1931) en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Political Studies en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MSocSc en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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