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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Selling Selves: East Rand Retail Sector Workers Fragmented and Reconfigured
Author:Kenny, Bridget
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:retail trade
labour market
labour history
Labor and Employment
Ethnic and Race Relations
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Abstract:This article examines the changing labour market and labour process in South African food retailing. From the 1940s, white female shop workers dominated frontline jobs which management controlled through deskilling and routinization. Black workers entered frontline jobs in the 1970s as labour market conditions changed. With their entry, control shifted to an 'apartheid workplace regime' to which militant independent unions responded in the early 1980s. Workers negotiated workplace rights to effect a nascent 'hegemonic' order. The article argues, however, that militant and unified East Rand black shop workers became fragmented and marginalized by the late 1990s. The growth of casualization and subcontracting helps to explain shifting political subjectivities of how these processes became embedded in broader social meanings constituting service work. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]