Threads Of Solidarity

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"... enables us to deepen our understanding of the organization of working women."—International Journal of African Historical Studies

"... an impressive piece of scholarship." —American Journal of Sociology

Virtually ignored by labor historians are the black and white women in South African industries. Drawing on comparative labor history and feminist theory, this important study traces the history of women as industrial workers and trade unionists in South Africa during most of the twentieth century.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

This study of the long-neglected category of working-class women focuses on the virtually ignored black and white women in South African industries. Drawing on comparative labor history and feminist theory, Berger traces the history of women as industrial workers and trade unionists in South Africa during most of the 20th century. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253207005
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

IRIS BERGER is Associate Professor of History, African Studies, and Women’s Studies and Director of the Institute for Research on Women at the State University of New York at Albany. She is author of the award-winning book Religion and Resistance: East African Kingdoms in the Precolonial Period and co-editor (with Claire Robertson) of Women and Class in Africa.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents


1. Gender, Community, and Working-Class History
2. Dependency and Domesticity: Women’s Wage Labor, 1900-1925

3. Patterns of Women’s Labor, 1925-1940
4. Daughters of the Depression
5. Commandos of Working Women
6. A Lengthening Thread

7. Nimble Fingers and Keen Eysight: Women in Wartime Production
8. A New Working Class, 1940-1960
9.Solidarity Fragmented: Garment Workers in the Transvaal
10. Food and Canning Workers at the Cape: The Structure of Gender and Race
11. Standing United
12. Never Far from Home: Family, Community, and Working Women

13. City and Periphery, 1960-1980
14. Repression and Resistance
Epilogue: Common Threads, Past and Present

Documentary Sources and Interviews
Illustrations precede Chapter 8

Indiana University Press

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