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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Servicing modernity: white women shop workers on the Rand and changing gendered respectabilities, 1940s-1970s
Author:Kenny, BridgetISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:African Studies
Volume:67
Issue:3
Pages:365-396
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:women workers
white women
retail trade
social status
racism
labour history
Abstract:After 1948, 'white labour' became incorporated into a racialized hegemonic order in South Africa. There has been limited analysis of the role of white working women in constituting an apartheid order in South Africa, however, and even less discussion of shop workers. Through decades of employment in the sector, working white women have defended the legitimacy and respectability of white women service workers. White women shop workers contributed to the emergence of South African consumer modernity, both by reconstructing notions of femininity and by buttressing racialized understandings of 'service'. For South African white women shop workers, the meanings of respectability shifted over time. From working-class militancy to occupational integrity to maternal responsibility to racial solidarity, respectability uncoiled through relations of service with a white public. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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