Liberating the Family?
Gender and British Slave Emancipation in the Rural Western Cape, South Africa, 1823-1853
Examines the complex impact of the end of slavery in the Cape on other social relations.
The author of this study argues that the ending of slavery in South Africa's Cape Colony initiated an era of exceptional struggle about cultural categories and sensibilities. Far more than simply abolishing bonded labour, Britishslave emancipation reconfigured the relations between men and women, and individual and society. It was precisely because emancipation implied that slaves would be free to live as they pleased that claims regarding the legitimacyof specific family, labour, gender and sexual relations became central to the struggle by various colonial groups to shape post-emancipation society. The author postulates that for government officials the linkage between political economy to questions of cultural reproduction became a crucial component of the construction of colonial society.
"Building on the lively resurgence of pre-industrial Cape history, Pamela Scully illuminates but occasionally contests other slavery research. -" Deborah Gaitskell, THE ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
"Liberating the Family? is path-breaking; it is elegantly argued and written, and should be read by everyone interested in the histories of southern Africa. -" Patricia van der Spuy, JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY
"The author of this book is among recent innovative historians in combining the now characteristic analysis of cultural representations with a political economy analysis of the lives of her South African subjects. - Penelope Hetherington in" Penelope Hetherington, AFSAAP
"Fresh insight ... - Margaret Snyder in" Margaret Snyder, CHOICE