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A revolution is taking place in the great marketplaces of the informal sector and it contains an unquantified scale and power as an economic engine and a way of life for the majority of our low income populations. The KasiNomic Revolution may still be a murmur in the streets, a grassroots economic groundswell, but it is the future of African economic activity.
Kasi is the South African term for the township – a teeming conurbation of homes and businesses, entertainment venues and social meeting places. GG Alcock uses the term KasiNomics to describe the informal sectors of Africa, whether they are in the township, a rural marketplace, at a taxi rank or on a pavement in the shadow of skyscrapers. Brought up in a rural Zulu community, GG has learnt and shares the lessons of African culture, language, stick fighting, lifestyle and tribal politics, along with shared poverty and community, which have prepared him for accessing the great informal marketplaces of Africa. He is uniquely placed to uncover the extraordinary stories of kasi businesses which not only survive but excel, revealing a revolutionary entrepreneurship which is mostly invisible to the formal sector.
KasiNomic Revolution is a story of kasi entrepreneurs on one side and, on the other, of great corporate successes and failures in the informal community. KasiNomic Revolution is at once a business book, and at the same time a deeply human book about the people and lives of rural and urban informal societies.
KasiNomic Revolution is about the lessons of marketing, distribution, culture and modernity in an informal African world.
Vaya the film is based on the lives of four young men from the Homeless Writer’s Project: David Majoka, Anthony Mafela, Madoda Ntuli and Tshabalira Lebakeng, and rooted in their experiences of coming to Johannesburg. Vaya the book brings you the people and stories that inspired the award-winning film.
The book provides a rare lens into life on the margins of Johannesburg. The stories are intimate and hard hitting, funny and heartbreaking, full of courage and humanity in a world that is both capricious and unforgiving. Stories of living on the street, of finding family and friendship in unusual places, and coming to the city full of hope and promise only to be betrayed by the very people one trusts most.
Mark Lewis’s haunting photographs bring into sharp focus life in the underbelly of the city.
South Africa’s distorted distribution of wealth is one of the biggest challenges facing the country’s economy, with unemployment sitting at an unsustainable 27.7%. In terms of wealth, the top percentile households hold 70.9% while the bottom 60% holds a mere 7%. 76% of South Africans face an imminent threat of falling below the poverty line. With such statistics, the inequality crisis in this country is at a desperate level and strategies to remedy this challenge seem shallow and lack urgency.
In this context, the Institute for African Alternatives has brought together a series of papers written by eminent South African academics and policymakers to serve as a catalyst to finally confront and resolve inequality. With papers from former Public Prosecutor Thuli Madonsela, Ben Turok and former President Kgalema Motlanthe, this book provides a guide to how the nation can confront and resolve the inequality plaguing the country. The nation is headed to the polls later this year and books such as this are vital for providing a strong guide on how those in power can address South Africa’s biggest economic crisis.
A great contribution to the current political discourse, the book both confronts the issue and provides strategies on how to remedy inequality.
About 50km outside of Cape Town lies the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, nestled against vineyards and blue mountains that stretch to the sky. Here reside some of South Africa’s wealthiest individuals: all male, all Afrikaans – and all stinking rich. Johann Rupert, Jannie Mouton, Markus Jooste and Christo Weise, to name a few.
Julius Malema refers to them scathingly as ‘The Stellenbosch Mafia’, the very worst example of white monopoly capital. But who really are these mega-wealthy individuals, and what influence do they exert not only on Stellenbosch but more broadly on South African society?
Author Pieter du Toit begins by exploring the roots of Stellenbosch, one of the wealthiest towns in South Africa and arguably the cradle of Afrikanerdom. This is the birthplace of apartheid leaders, intellectuals, newspaper empires and more. He then closely examines this ‘club’ of billionaires. Who are they and, crucially, how are they connected? What network of boardroom membership, alliances and family connections exist? Who are the ‘old guard’ and who are the ‘inkommers’, and what about the youngsters desperate to make their mark? He looks at the collapse of Steinhoff: what went wrong, and whether there are other companies at risk of a similar fate. He examines the control these men have over cultural life, including pulling the strings in South Africa rugby.
This book provides an overdue critical re-engagement with the analytical approach exemplified by the work of Harold Wolpe, who was a key theorist within the liberation movement. It probes the following broad questions: how do we understand the trajectory of the post-apartheid period, how did the current situation come about
in the transformation, how does the current situation relate to how a post-apartheid society was conceived in anticipation, and what are the implications of what have been failed ambitions for progressives?
'Kiley Reid is the writer we need now' CHLOE BENJAMIN, AUTHOR OF THE IMMORTALISTS
What happens when you do the right thing for the wrong reason?
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.
With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the awkwardness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone 'family', the complicated reality of being a grown-up and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
Alfred Qabula was a central figure in the cultural movement that emerged among working people in and around Durban in the 1980s. The movement was an innovative attempt to draw on the oral poetry developed among the Nguni people over many centuries. Qabula was a forklift driver in the Dunlop tyre factory in Durban at the time this book was developed. He used the art of telling stories to critique the exploitation of black workers and their oppression under apartheid.
A Working Life, Cruel Beyond Belief is the first book in the Hidden Voices series and is Qabula’s testament, telling the powerful story of his life and work. It also contains a generous selection of his poetry. The Hidden Voices Project emerged out of an interest in intellectual left contributions towards discussions on race, class, ethnicity and nationalism in South Africa. Specifically, the project seeks to examine and make available writings on left thought under apartheid. The aim is to look at hidden voices – voices outside of the university system or academic voices suppressed by apartheid pressures. Before and during the apartheid years, many universities were closed to existing local ideas and debates, and critical intellectual debates, ideas, texts, poetry and songs often originated outside academia during the period of the struggle for liberation.
Jonathan Jansen is die voormalige Rektor van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, met 'n formidabele reputasie vir transformasie en 'n diepgewortelde verbintenis tot versoening in gemeenskappe wat met die erfenis van apartheid saamleef. In hierdie boek, Jansen se persoonlikste en mees intieme boek tot op hede, daag Suid-Afrika se geliefde professor die stereotipes en stigma uit wat so maklik op Kaapse Vlakte-ma's van toepassing gemaak word as luidrugtig, wellustig en sonder tande – en bied hy diť deernisvolle verhaal aan as 'n lofsang vir ma's oral wat op moeilike plekke gesinne moet grootmaak en gemeenskappe moet bou.
As jong man het Jansen gewonder hoe ma's dit regkry om kinders onder moeilike omstandighede groot te maak – en toe besef die antwoord is reg voor hom in die vorm van Sarah Jansen, sy eie ma. Deur haar vroeŽ lewe in Montagu en die gevolge van apartheid se gedwonge verskuiwings na te speur, werp Jansen lig op hoe sterk vroue nie slegs daarin geslaag het om gesinne bymekaar te hou nie, maar hulle kinders ook met integriteit groot te maak.
Met sy kenmerkende fynsinnigheid, humor en eerlikheid, volg Jansen sy ma se lewensverhaal as 'n jong verpleegster en ma van vyf kinders, en wys hy hoe diť ma's hulle verlede verwerk het, hulle huise ingerig het, sin gemaak het van die politiek, die liefde bestuur en kernwaardes gekommunikeer het – hoe hulle hulle lewens gelei het. Om sy eie herinneringe te balanseer, het Jansen hom op sy suster, Naomi, beroep om haar eie insigte en herinneringe te deel, en daardeur spesiale waarde tot hierdie roerende memoir toe te voeg.
Jonathan Jansen is the former Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, with a formidable reputation for transformation and for a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. In this, Jansen’s most personal and intimate book to date, South Africa’s beloved professor contemplates the stereotypes and stigma so readily applied to Cape Flats mothers as bawdy, lusty and gap-toothed – and offers this endearing antidote as a praise song to mothers everywhere who raise families and build communities in difficult places.
As a young man, Jansen questioned how mothers managed to raise children in trying circumstances – and then realised that the answer was right in front of him in the form of Sarah Jansen, his own mother. Tracing her early life in Montagu and the consequences of apartheid’s forced removals, Jansen unpacks how strong women managed to not only keep families together, but raise them with integrity.
With his trademark delicacy, humour and frankness, Jansen follows his mother’s life story as a young nurse and mother to five children, and shows how mothers dealt with their pasts, organised their homes, made sense of politics, managed affection, communicated core values – how they led their lives. As a balance to his own recollections, Jansen has called on his sister, Naomi, to offer her own insights and memories, adding special value to this touching personal memoir.
The rhetoric of `freedom and democracy for all' has become almost synonymous with the US. However, at home its business elites have enslaved the poor and underclasses and further afield, while masquerading as a force for good in the world, it has enslaved much of humanity in the name of progress. In this controversial book, investigative journalist Matt Kennard takes us deep into the dark heart of American power. From the corporate state, the prison state and the state of the environment, to humanitarian intervention, the free trade fetish and the divide-and-rule of the working class, The Racket reveals how, no matter which side of the border we are on, we are all being conditioned to condone this modern form of slavery.
'Women so empowered are dangerous' Written with a 'black woman's anger' and the precision of a poet, these searing pieces by the groundbreaking writer Audre Lorde are a celebration of female strength and solidarity, and a cry to speak out against those who seek to silence anyone they see as 'other'. One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists.
In the popular imagination, the twenty years after World War II are associated with simpler, happier, more family-focused living. We think of stereotypical baby boom families like the Cleavers--white, suburban, and well on their way to middle-class affluence. For these couples and their children, a happy, stable family life provided an antidote to the anxieties and uncertainties of the emerging nuclear age.
But not everyone looked or lived like the Cleavers. For those who could not have children, or have as many children as they wanted, the postwar baby boom proved a source of social stigma and personal pain. Further, in 1950 roughly one in three Americans made below middle-class incomes, and over fifteen million lived under Jim Crow segregation. For these individuals, home life was not an oasis but a challenge, intimately connected to the era's many political and social upheavals.
"Everybody Else" provides a comparative analysis of diverse postwar families and examines the lives and case records of men and women who applied to adopt or provide pre-adoptive foster care in the 1940s and 1950s. It considers an array of individuals--both black and white, middle and working class--who found themselves on the margins of a social world that privileged family membership. These couples wanted adoptive and foster children in order to achieve a sense of personal mission and meaning, as well as a deeper feeling of belonging to their communities. But their quest for parenthood also highlighted the many inequities of that era. These individuals' experiences seeking children reveal that the baby boom family was about much more than "togetherness" or a quiet house in the suburbs; it also shaped people's ideas about the promises and perils of getting ahead in postwar America.
What does consumption in the global south signify, and how are its complexities communicated in media discourses? Consumption, Media and the Global South presents original research examining key themes in the ways in which consumption in the global south - by elites, the middle classes, and the poor - is discursively constructed in media texts. With the global triumph of capitalist economies and neoliberal values, consumption is increasingly viewed by populations in the global south as both a right to which they are denied access, and once accessed as evidence of an improved life. The ways in which this debate plays out on the stage of the media is an important element of the picture. This book looks at the media representation of consumer culture in Africa, China, Brazil and India through case studies ranging from celebrity selfies, to travel websites, news reports and documentary film.
In modern Britain, the working class has become an object of fear and ridicule. In this acclaimed investigation, Owen Jones explores how the working class has gone from "salt of the earth" to "scum of the earth." Exposing the ignorance and prejudice at the heart of the chav caricature, he portrays a far more complex reality. The chav stereotype, he argues, is used by governments as a convenient fig leaf to avoid genuine engagement with social and economic problems and to justify widening inequality. This new edition includes a new chapter, reflecting on the overwhelming response to the book and the situation in Britain today.
How the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite, and how their consumer habits affect us all In today's world, the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite. Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption--like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and TOMS shoes, and listening to the Serial podcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children's growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates. In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this segment of society "the aspirational class" and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, the aspirational class reproduces wealth and upward mobility, deepening the ever-wider class divide. Exploring the rise of the aspirational class, Currid-Halkett considers how much has changed since the 1899 publication of Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class. In that inflammatory classic, which coined the phrase "conspicuous consumption," Veblen described upper-class frivolities: men who used walking sticks for show, and women who bought silver flatware despite the effectiveness of cheaper aluminum utensils. Now, Currid-Halkett argues, the power of material goods as symbols of social position has diminished due to their accessibility. As a result, the aspirational class has altered its consumer habits away from overt materialism to more subtle expenditures that reveal status and knowledge. And these transformations influence how we all make choices. With a rich narrative and extensive interviews and research, The Sum of Small Things illustrates how cultural capital leads to lifestyle shifts and what this forecasts, not just for the aspirational class but for everyone.
Set against a backdrop of deindustrialisation, rising male unemployment and the feminisation and casualisation of the labour market, Growing Up Girl graphically explores the complexities of gender and class during a period of massive social change. It tells the story of today's 'I can have everything' girls who face unprecedented shifts in the organisation of family, education and work, and yet who continue to struggle with the not always visible but always palpable pressures of wealth, poverty, class and ethnicity. Drawing on data spanning nearly twenty years, the authors of this ground-breaking study provide a sobering antidote to commonplace platitudes about 'girl power' and a feminine future. They reveal the hidden price of middle class girls' apparently effortless achievements - obsessive hard work, guilt and devastating feelings of inadequacy - and they trace how the labour market cruelly sets material limits on the disappointed hopes and ambitions of working class girls. Vividly illustrating their arguments with quotations from the research participants, they show how young women's practices of self-invention are regulated both by unconscious processes and real social and economic constraints. Their insistent conclusion is that class is far from dead. Indeed, it is centrally important to our understanding of what it is to be a young woman in today's complex and challenging world. This important and grippingly written book is essential reading for students and scholars alike in sociology, cultural studies, women's studies, education and psychology. It will also be of interest to anyone else struggling to make sense of the position of women in society today.
Fran Leeper Buss, a former welfare recipient who earned a PhD in history and became a pioneer in the field of oral history, has for forty years dedicated herself to the goal of collecting the stories of marginal and working-class U.S. women. Memory, Meaning, and Resistance is based on over 100 oral histories gathered from women from a variety of racial, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds, including a traditionalMexican American midwife, a Latina poet and organizer for the United Farm Workers, and an African American union and freedom movement organizer. Buss now analyzes this body of work, identifying common themes in women's lives and resistance that unite the oral histories she has gathered. From the beginning, her work has shed light on the inseparable, compounding effects of gender, race, ethnicity, and class on women's lives-what is now commonly called intersectionality. Memory, Meaning, and Resistance is structured thematically, with each chapter analyzing a concept that runs through the oral histories, e.g., agency, activism, religion. The result is a testament to women's individual and collective strength, and an invaluable guide for students and researchers, on how to effectively and sensitively conduct oral histories that observe, record, recount, and analyze women's life stories.
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