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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X

Historia vol.54 n.1 Durban  2009


Book Feature



Moodie, T.Dunbar

An organisational and political history


W.P. Visser, Van MWU tot Solidariteit: Geskiedenis van die Mynwerkersunie 1902-2002
Solidariteit, Centurion, 2008
xx + 384 pp
ISBN 978 0 620 421 42 3

Danie Goosen
Universiteit van Suid-Afrika


Louwrens Pretorius
University of South Africa


Full text available only in PDF format.


1 I should add that such racial encapsulation was an aspect of South African organisational reality The "official" history of the much shorter life of the black National Union of Mineworkers is equally encapsulated - V L Allen, The History of Black Mineworkers in South Africa: Volume III, The Rise and Struggles of the National Union of Mineworkers, 1982-1994 (Moor Press, Keighly, 2003) While the MWU was radically committed to racial protection for white workers, the NUM was committed to African advancement in the same industry, yet the histories of each union are written with only passing mention of the other Managements were obliged to negotiate an unsteady path between the two
2 Buys' model was the Israeli Histadrut
3 I am reminded of how Derek Keys described to me his reorganisation of Gencor in the middle 1980s
4 Here I am borrowing the language of Aletta Norval, Deconstructing Apartheid Discourse (Verso, London, 1996), although, of course, the struggle to protect the privileges of white mine-workers against the rapacious capitalism of the Chamber of Mines long predated the apartheid regime - and indeed the Afrikaner movement itself
5 There is no acknowledgement of the sources for any photographs in this book
6 He asserts lack of sources and urges further research
7 For a provocative and stimulating account of white South African mine worker violence, see Keith Breckenridge, "The Allure of Violence: Men, Race and Masculinity on the South African Goldmines, 1900-1950", Journal of Southern African Studies, 24, 4, 1998, and my own more historical and structural development of the argument, in T D Moodie, "Maximum Average Violence: Underground Assaults on the South African Gold Mines, 1913-1965", Journal of Southern African Studies, 31, 3, 2005 Reference to the argument of these articles, based on archival sources as well as interviews, would have added an additional (if rather uncomfortable) dimension to Visser's history
8 R Harrison, "In Search of the Golden Rivet", Cambridge Journal of Economics, 16, 1992, pp 491
9 A L Stinchcombe, The Logic of Social Research (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2005), pp 11-12 Italics in the original
10 R Fantasia, "From Class Consciousness to Culture, Action, and Social Organization", Annual Review of Sociology, 21, 1995, pp 269-287 Quotation on p 274
11 On such histories see: B Freund, "Labour and Labour History in Africa: A Review of the Literature", African Studies Review, 27, 2, June 1984, pp 1-58
12 W P Visser, Urbanization and Afrikaner Class Formation: The Mine Workers' Union and the Search for a Cultural Identity Paper presented at the African Urban Spaces Conference, 28-30 March 2003, University of Texas at Austin, http://academic sun ac za/history/downloads/visser/urbanization afrikaner class pdf
13 Why are workers named Afrikanermynwerkers and Afrikanerstaakbrekers (pp 10, 18) - regardless of time, place and self-conceptions - when the heart of the story is claimed to be the struggle to get those workers to become Afrikaners?
14 H Adam and H Giliomee, The Rise and Crisis of Afrikaner Power (David Philip, Cape Town, 1979); H Giliomee, The Afrikaners. Biography of a People (Tafelberg, Cape Town, 2003); TD Moodie, The Rise of Afrikanerdom. Power, Apartheid, and the Civil Religion (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1975); D O'Meara, Volkskapitalisme. Class, Capital and Ideology in the Development of Afrikaner Nationalism 1934-1948 (Ravan Press, Braamfontein, 1983); D O'Meara, Forty Lost Years. (Johannesburg, Ravan Press, 1996).
15 See R Alford and R Friedland, Powers of Theory (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1985); R Fantasia, "From Class Consciousness to Culture, Action, and Social Organization"; A H Hawley, "The Logic of Macrosociology", Annual Review of Sociology, 18, 1992, pp 1-14; G Sartori, "The Sociology of Parties A Critical Review", Committee on Political Sociology of the International Sociological Association, Party Systems, Party Organizations, and the Politics of the New Masses, Institut für poslitische Wissenschaft an der Freien Universität Berlin, Berlin, 1968
16 Adam & Giliomee, The Rise and Crisis of Afrikaner Power; J Hyslop, "Problems of Explanation in the Study of Afrikaner Nationalism: A Case Study of the West Rand", Journal of Southern African Studies, 22, 3, September 1996, pp 373-385; D O'Meara, Volkskapitalisme; Forty Lost Years; D O'Meara, Thinking Theoretically? Afrikaner Nationalism And The Comparative Theory Of The Politics Of Identity: A Tribute To Harold Wolpe Paper presented to the Inaugural Conference of the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust The Political Economy of Social Change in South Africa University of the Western Cape, 1-2 April 1997; S Trapido, "Political Institutions and Afrikaner Social Structures in the Republic of South Africa", The American Political Science Review, 57, 1, March 1963, pp 75-87; F van Zyl Slabbert, "Afrikaner Nationalism, White Politics, and Political Change in South Africa", in L Thompson and J Butler (eds), Change in Contemporary South Africa (University of California Press, Berkley, 1975)
17 Examples are cited in: L Pretorius, Relationships Between State and Society in South Africa Inaugural Lecture, University of South Africa, Pretoria, 4 August 1994
18 Fantasia, "From Class Consciousness to Culture, Action, and Social Organization", p 279
19 Amongst many: P B Evans, D Rueschemeyer and T Skocpol (eds), Bringing the State Back In (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1985)
20 It is also suggested in the conclusion of Visser, Urbanization and Afrikaner Class Formation, p 19]

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