n Historia - A journey through a site of contrasts
Winelands, Wealth and Work: Transformations in the Dwars River Valley, Stellenbosch, Kees van der Waal (Ed.) : book review

Volume 59, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



This text represents the culmination of the collaboration by staff and postgraduate students from the University of Stellenbosch in the Dwars River Valley. The collaboration has resulted in an academic work that aims to examine the changes in practices and place as a result of shifts in both local and global patterns of political and economic life. The text seeks to map out a range of responses to the global neo liberal forces at a very local level and in doing so it has touched on rather topical issues in South African anthropology and history today. Examples of these themes are shifting populations; new models of development; the slow violence of poverty and domination; and emergent and protean forms of dominance as well as responses, such as the new Pentecostalism. All in all the work takes the reader on a journey through a site of contrasts. The reader encounters gentlemen's wine estates, squatter camps, abandoned farm houses, idyllic villages (gentrification) and a people's desire for respectability through housing, family, church, work and heritage. It follows in the tradition of anthropologists like Fiona Ross who has attempted to document the experience of raw life in the new South Africa.

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