Race-ing Class Ladies: Lineages of Privilege in and Elite South African School

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This paper draws on fieldwork done in Greystone School in South Africa, a single sex girls' school. I explore how the legacy of coloniser and colonised is reconfigured through the history of the school and the particular racialised politics of South Africa, where race and class have always been imbricated in differently nuanced ways before, during and after apartheid. The young women have, for the most part, been produced and produced themselves as white young ladies – with the politesse and habitus that this implies. Thus, despite the current intake of a significant number of black girls from further north in Africa, some local Indian (in South African terms) pupils and a very few local black (African) young women, the school continues to support the production of whiteness and (middle) class amongst their students. Throughout, I show how global colonial and postcolonial narratives of whiteness have (and have had) their own particular form and relationship to narratives of whiteness in the changing South African context.

Keywords: apartheid, South Africa, change, whiteness, class, gender

© 2014, published by Taylor and Francis. This is an author produced version of a paper, uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-61
JournalGlobalization, Societies and Education: Special Issue on Elite Schools in Globalizing Circumstances
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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