“An excellent example of anti-racist and anti-sexist works with strong, practical policy implications for development.”
Rosemary Jolly, Professor, Southern African Research Centre, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
In the last decade, the South African state has been transformed dramatically, but the stubborn, menacing geography of apartheid still stands in the way of that country's visions of change. Environmentally degraded old homelands still scar the rural geography of South Africa.
Formerly segregated, now gated, neighborhoods still inhibit free movement. Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy is a study of another such space, the converted “male” migrant worker hostel.
Professor Glen Elder identifies hostels as sites of public and domestic violence, literal destruction and rebuilding, and as an important node in the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Hostels have also become home to increasing numbers of “invisible” female residents. Finding that one way to understand hostel space is through women's experiences, Professor Elder turned to thirty black migrant women living in an East Rand hostel to map the everyday geographies of South Africa's time of change.
By following the lives of these women, Elder identifies spatialized forms of marginalization, impoverishment, infection, and disempowerment. But, as he points out, the women's survival strategies may provide signposts to the way out of apartheid's malevolent geography.
Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy argues that the gendered geography of the migrant labor system developed in South Africa was premised upon sexual assumptions about men, women, and their bodies, and that feminist and queer analyses of space can inform public policy decisions.
An associate professor of geography at the University of Vermont, Glen S. Elder was educated in South Africa and the United States. He has written extensively on sexuality and geography.
Save 20% ($19.96)
Save 20% ($39.96)
US and Canada only
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
The year 2008 is the deadline set by President Mbeki for the finalization of all land claims by people who were dispossessed under the apartheid and previous white governments. Although most experts agree this is an impossible deadline, it does provide a significant political moment for reflection on the ANC government’s program of land restitution since the end of apartheid.
Southeast Asia summons images of tropical forests and mountains, islands and seas, and a multitude of languages, cultures, and religions. Yet the area has never formed a unified political vision nor has it developed cultural unity. Academics have defined Southeast Asia over the years as what is left over after subtracting Australia, the South Pacific islands, China and India.
In the last three years the migrant labor hostels of South Africa, particularly those in the Transvaal, have gained international notoriety as theaters of violence. For many years they were hidden from public view and neglected by the white authorities. Now, it seems, hostel dwellers may have chosen physical violence to draw attention to the structural violence of their appalling conditions of life.