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Title: Making history, gendering youth : young women and South Africa's liberation struggles after 1976
Author: Johnson, Rachel E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 5808
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is a study of youth, nationalism, silence, gender and history-making. It explores the study of a distinct `youth politics' after 1976 within histories of South Africa's liberation struggles. In particular it examines a narrative that has suggested youth politics became a masculine pursuit from the mid-1980s onwards. Within the historiographic narratives of youth politics young women often appear as a silent absence. However, it is argued that a project that aimed solely to fill in this historiographic gap would misunderstand the nature of young women's absence from struggle history. This thesis argues instead for a more complex understanding of liberation politics and the production of history as arenas for reifying, contesting and creating gender ideologies. The shifting subjectivities of young women are examined through an exploration of the politics of voice and silence in five connected contexts: the historiography of the struggle; commemorations of June 16th 1976; the public discussions of self-identified youth activists; the legal entanglements between the State and activists (trials, detention and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission); and black women's autobiographical projects. It is argued that the absence of young women from struggle histories is not just a banal twist in the historical record but rather an active, contested and ongoing process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available