Creating Spaces for Action

ANC-Women Politicians' Views On
Bridewealth & Gender-Related Power

Studia Sociologica Upsaliensia, No. 51

By Frida Nilsson
April 2004
Uppsala University Press
ISBN: 91-554-5857-2
226 pages, 6 " x 9 "
$52.50 Paper Original


This Ph.D. dissertation examines the ways in which a group of ANC-women politicians reason about bridewealth / lobola - an institution about which they express differing views, in particular about whether or not it is oppressive to women. It is argued that there are explicit defining discourses on lobola as well as more implicitly expressed understandings.

The explicit discourses make a distinction between 'good lobola' - which is expressed in, for instance an economic discourse about 'the purchase of women.' The family-related discourse is interpreted as part of a discursive strategy to create spaces for action with respect to relations of gender-related power. Furthermore, explicit discourses on lobola are interpreted as a 'political discourse' which is formed both in relation to pragmatic 'political realities' but also in relation to hegemonic Western discourses about lobola.

Women's Studies; Sociology

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