Designing Dystopias: Social Security in South Africa c. 1939 - 1946

Gastrow, Claudia. Designing Dystopias: Social Security in South Africa c. 1939 - 1946. 2008, Master Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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My MA thesis, Designing Dystopias: Social Security in South Africa c. 1939 – 1946, tracked the rise and fall of white South African liberals’ demands for comprehensive state social security in the early 1940s. It located the growing demand for social security within the larger framework of specific debates within South Africa regarding white liberals’ imaginations of the South African future, as well as colonial initiatives in other parts of Africa towards a "developmental" colonialism. The thesis argues that rather than a unified movement, the advocates of social security were bitterly at odds with one another, specifically as regarded the extension of social security to black South Africans and the feasibility of extending what some within the movement identified as "Western" solutions followed in New Zealand and European countries to South Africa. The question arose as to whether South Africa should be categorised as "backward" in comparison to other British dominions, and thus opt for a development policy such as those seen in other African countries, or follow the route of the British Beveridge Plan. In the end, the disagreements caused by the some advocates’ insistences on racial differentiation in provision of benefits as well as the state’s dilution of the movements proposals contributed to the adoption of a fragmented, racially differentiated system. This system was maintained until the transition to democracy in the 1990s, during which the South African welfare system was deracialised.Current activities:I am currently pursuing a PhD degree in Anthropology at the University of Chicago in the United States. My research focuses on the development and urban reconstruction in Luanda.
Advisors:Harries, Patrick
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Geschichte > Ehemalige Einheiten Geschichte > Geschichte Afrikas (Harries)
UniBasel Contributors:Harries, Patrick
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Master Thesis
Thesis status:Complete
Last Modified:05 Apr 2018 17:37
Deposited On:06 Feb 2018 11:24

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