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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Paternalism, Patriarchy and Afrikaans
Author:Ross, RobertISNI
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:social classes
agricultural history
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02582479508671824
Abstract:There have recently been a number of attempts to view the relations between the owners of South Africa's farms and those who worked on their land as in some sense imbued with paternalism or patriarchy. Patriarchal is used 'to refer to a family structure in which fathers control the lives and labour of family members - wife, children, slaves, and servants'. These arguments relate primarily, though not exclusively, to the rural history of the Cape Colony in the 18th and 19th centuries. In this article it is argued that these views, which essentially derive from an attempt to import specific aspects of the historiography on slavery in the USA to South Africa, are mistaken. The basic reason for the error is linguistic. The author analyses the arguments which make use of the concepts of paternalism and patriarchy, and shows that these terms are not useful summaries even of South African master-class ideologies, let alone are they of any use as explanations of subaltern docility - which never existed anyway. Notes, ref.