White, Poor and Angry
White Working Class Families in Johannesburg
This title was first published in 2003. A fascinating insight into the economic, social and political processes that shaped the lives of white workers in Johannesburg between the beginning of deep level mining (c. 1890) and the 1922 Rand Revolt miners' strike. The book examines four related topics: the formation of working class families, working class accommodation, the constitution of social networks in the working class neighbourhoods and the political and ideological aspects of white workers' unemployment. The main argument presented here is that the class experience of white workers in Johannesburg had a very important role in fostering a sense of community between English and Afrikaner workers and their families. It is this sense of community that plays an important part in understanding the solidarity that emerged between English and Afrikaner workers during the 1922 Rand Revolt.
Table of Contents
Contents: Class experience, class consciousness and white working class identity in South African historiography; The emergence of the South African white working class in Johannesburg, 1890-1906; The political economy of white working class housing in Johannesburg, 1890-1906; White working class housing and the emergence of the urban problem in Johannesburg, 1907-1922; White workers' daily life in Johannesburg, 1890-1922; The ideological construction of the poor white problem, 1890-1922; The making of the white working class in Johannesburg, 1890-1922; Bibliography; Index.
’In a finely nuanced way Lis Lange shows that Afrikaners have a much more complex social history than the narrow ethnic stereotype often paraded in much of the literature dealing with Africa's "last white tribe". Her study makes a significant contribution to a fuller understanding of the ambivalent nature of the formation of social identity in Afrikaner circles and highlights in a wider sense the multilayered nature of ethnicity.’ Professor Albert Grundlingh, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa ’This study is a welcome addition to the growing corpus of academic books and essays on the white working class of South Africa...White, Poor and Angry makes an important contribution to narratives on white working-class urbanization, especially as far as the Afrikaner poor are concerned.’ H-Net Review ’...a well-written and unpretentious book...’ Contemporary Sociology ’...Lange’s work is an evocative and important contribution to our understanding of South African labour and social history.’ International Review of Social History