'...their cultures were not well invested in them’: Cultural Entrepreneurship and the Production of History in Zamdela township, Sasolburg

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Seminar Date
August 25, 2010
This is a shortened draft version of the final chapter of my dissertation, entitled: ‘Apartheid Modern: Sasol and the Making of a South African company town’. It is rather more ethnographic than the rest of the dissertation, and I’d like to think that it will eventually help bring aspects of the larger thesis full circle through a kind of sociology of young lives in contemporary Zamdela township – in the aftermath of the decline of employment and paternalism -- and my attempted exploration of the “work” of history in the present. Preceding chapters will deal in somewhat more conventionally historical terms with the establishment of the SASOL project, the role of SASOL in the making of whiteness and anti-apartheid techno-imaginations; modernist town planning; civic culture, consumption, battles over industrial and domestic labour, black modernisms in Zamdela township and hostels, the meanings of work & paternalism etc etc. I’ve tagged an epilogue on the end of the chapter which throws fresh material gathered on my last research trip to Sasolburg into the mix. I’d greatly appreciate your help with thinking through how to bring the two parts together…your comments & suggestions are most welcome!
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