After Freedom: The Rise of the Post-Apartheid Generation in Democratic South Africa

Overview

Twenty years after the end of apartheid, a new generation is building a multiracial democracy in South Africa but remains mired in economic inequality and political conflict.
 
The death of Nelson Mandela in 2013 arrived just short of the twentieth anniversary of South Africa’s first free election, reminding the world of the promise he represented as the nation’s first Black president.  Despite significant progress since the early ...

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After Freedom: The Rise of the Post-Apartheid Generation in Democratic South Africa

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Overview

Twenty years after the end of apartheid, a new generation is building a multiracial democracy in South Africa but remains mired in economic inequality and political conflict.
 
The death of Nelson Mandela in 2013 arrived just short of the twentieth anniversary of South Africa’s first free election, reminding the world of the promise he represented as the nation’s first Black president.  Despite significant progress since the early days of this new democracy, frustration is growing as inequalities that once divided the races now grow within them as well.
 
In After Freedom, award-winning sociologist Katherine S. Newman and South African expert Ariane De Lannoy bring alive the voices of the “freedom generation,” who came of age after the end of apartheid. Through the stories of seven ordinary individuals who will inherit the richest, and yet most unequal, country in Africa, Newman and De Lannoy explore how young South Africans, whether Black, White, mixed race, or immigrant, confront the lingering consequences of racial oppression. These intimate portraits illuminate the erosion of old loyalties, the eruption of class divides, and the heated debate over policies designed to redress the evils of apartheid. Even so, the freedom generation remains committed to a united South Africa and is struggling to find its way toward that vision. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/27/2014
Although apartheid in South Africa officially ended in 1994, deep divisions still persist along race and class lines, according to Johns Hopkins sociologist Newman (The Missing Class) and University of Cape Town lecturer De Lannoy. Following seven Cape Town–based 30-somethings and their families—“Black, White, ‘Coloured,’ and immigrant,” from varying socioeconomic backgrounds—the book portrays individuals with differing opportunities and concerns, all negotiating their evolving identities as South Africans. At one end of the spectrum, chronically unemployed black single mother Thandiswa remains stuck in a desperately poor, unsafe township, while black NGO-employee Amanda struggles financially, but enjoys a cosmopolitan lifestyle. White South Africans, such as Brandon, live in exclusive suburbs with little personal contact with non-Whites, yet have an aversion to the extreme racism of the country’s past. The structural and historical roots of such disparities, and the social friction and significant emigration they feed, are succinctly analyzed amid generous excerpts from interviews and diaries. Given South Africa’s history and its status as “the richest and most unequal country in Africa,” it’s apt that the authors borrow their title from Hortense Powdermaker’s 1939 study of the post–Civil War South. Agent: Lisa Adams, the Garamond Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“The structural and historical roots of such disparities, and the social friction and significant emigration they feed, are succinctly analyzed amid generous excerpts from interviews and diaries.”
Publishers Weekly

“Anyone interested in the progress of the 'new'  South Africa  20 years into its multiracial democracy need look no further than After Freedom—a powerful, well-researched, and thoroughly readable book. Newman and De Lannoy include hard demographic and economic data but it is their sustained and deeply personal interviews which prove both fascinating and discomforting. As in all democracies, including the United States, the pace of change is maddeningly slow for all too many.”
—Charlayne Hunter-Gault, journalist and author of New News Out of Africa

“Written with verve and in an often lyrical style this book takes you into the depths of the everyday life of seven post-apartheid young South Africans. Set in the extraordinary urban experiment of contemporary Cape Town, Katherine Newman and Ariane de Lannoy succeed in bringing to vivid life the complexity of young South Africans seeking to make a life for themselves. Without being judgmental they surface and contextualize the intense experiences of personal failure and success through which young people in South Africa are going. This book will help you understand what it means to live in one of the world’s major social laboratories.”
—Professor Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807007464
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 4/22/2014
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 350,597
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine S. Newman is the James Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of twelve books on poverty, the working poor, and the consequences of inequality, including The Accordion Family and The Missing Class. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
 
Ariane De Lannoy is a senior researcher at the Children’s Institute and lecturer in the Sociology Department of the University of Cape Town. Her research focuses on youth transitions to adulthood in South Africa, and she has published on young adults’ educational decision making, youth belonging and citizenship, and youth violence in a context of poverty. She lives in Cape Town.

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