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Home Spaces, Street Styles: Contesting Power and Identity in a South African City

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This book revisits and updates some classic Anthropology — the Xhosa in Town series — based on research in the South African city of East London conducted during the 1950s. The original studies concluded that there were two opposed responses to urbanization in East London’s African locations, one embracing Westernization, European values and Christianity and another opposed to it. The studies have been the subject of intense anthropological debate. Leslie Bank returned to the areas of East London studied in the 1950s to assess how social and political changes have transformed these areas, in particular the apartheid reconstruction of the 1960s and 1970s and the struggle for liberation followed by the post-Apartheid period in the 1980s and 1990s. Bank has added important theoretical insights to this rich ethnography, and forged strong links with issues that transcend the particularities of his urban study.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Leslie Bank's beautifully written re-study of the 'Xhosa in town' is a very powerful ethnography from post-apartheid South Africa and an important contribution to the anthropology of the city. Bank's monograph is in every way an improvement over the classic trilogy that originally inspired it."
—Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo

"A splendid work of scholarship which makes a major ethnographic contribution while advancing challenging theoretical arguments." —Jim Ferguson, Stanford University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Leslie J. Bank is the Director of the Fort Hare Institute of Social and Economic Research. He has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town and has published widely on issues related to social change and development in southern Africa.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Series Preface vii

Preface and Acknowledgements viii

1 Towards an Anthropology of Urbanism 1

2 The Xhosa in Town Revisited 35

3 Modernism, Space and Identity 60

4 Rebellion, Fractured Urbanism and the Fear of Fire 89

5 The Style of the Comrades 112

6 Changing Migrant Cultures 138

7 Re-modelling the House 163

8 The Rhythms of the Yards 190

9 Post-Apartheid Suburb or Hyper-Ghetto 210

Conclusion 235

Notes 245

Bibliography 251

Index 264

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