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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Race, class, gender and voice: four terrains of liberation
Author:Saul, John S.ISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy (ISSN 0305-6244)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:national liberation struggles
Abstract:This article focuses on the complex conceptual and practical terrain offered by the concept of 'liberation', both analytically and practically. It argues that liberation is best considered to be a multidimensional process, evoking an approach to its study (and to its practice) that would take seriously its resonance, for purposes of the analysis of Africa, as implicating struggle on the levels of race, class, gender, and (democratic) voice. The article then suggests, with special reference to South Africa, the costs that have accompanied the collapse of the meaning of the term 'liberation' into a mere metaphor for national emancipation from colonial/quasi-colonial and racially defined rule. Comfortable as the narrowing of its definition in such a way may be to the domestic elites who have succeeded their former colonial rulers into possession of formal power, it leaves great scope for merely rationalizing the imposition of a kind of recolonization upon the territories concerned and ensuring the continued subordination in class, gender, and political terms of the vast mass of the ostensibly 'liberated' population. In sum, in both political and theoretical terms the concept 'liberation' must be reclaimed so as to permit both more precise scientific investigation and more militant and engaged practical work. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]