Melancholia of Freedom Social Life in an Indian Township in South Africa

ISBN-10: 0691152969

ISBN-13: 9780691152967

Edition: 2012

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Description: The end of apartheid in 1994 signaled a moment of freedom and a promise of a nonracial future. With this promise came an injunction: define yourself as you truly are, as an individual, and as a community. Almost two decades later it is clear that it was less the future than the habits and horizons of anxious life in racially defined enclaves that determined post-apartheid freedom. In this book, Thomas Blom Hansen offers an in-depth analysis of the uncertainties, dreams, and anxieties that have accompanied post-apartheid freedoms in Chatsworth, a formerly Indian township in Durban. Exploring five decades of township life, Hansen tells the stories of ordinary Indians whose lives were racialized and framed by the township, and how these residents domesticated and inhabited this urban space and its institutions, during apartheid and after.Hansen demonstrates the complex and ambivalent nature of ordinary township life. While the ideology of apartheid was widely rejected, its practical institutions, from urban planning to houses, schools, and religious spaces, were embraced in order to remake the community. Hansen describes how the racial segmentation of South African society still informs daily life, notions of race, personhood, morality, and religious ethics. He also demonstrates the force of global religious imaginings that promise a universal and inclusive community amid uncertain lives and futures in the post-apartheid nation-state.

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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/22/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.386

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
Under the Gaze: Freedom and Race after Apartheid
Freedom and Sovereignty after Apartheid
Melancholia of Freedom
Between Irrelevance and Irreverence: "Our Culture" after Apartheid
Structure of the Book
Methods and Material
Ethnicity by Fiat: The Remaking of Indian Life in South Africa
The Asiatic Question
The New Hygienic Indian
Census et Censura
The New Indian Social Body
Policing the Internal Frontier
Containing the Bush: Crime and Vigilantes in the Age of Democratic Policing
Domesticity and Cultural Intimacy
From Kinship to Family
The New Indian Woman and the Family House
Tongues without Speech: Caste as Language Community
"Our Culture" as Embarrassment
Cultural Intimacy and Embarrassment: Charous and Lahnees
Class and Charou Names
Performing in the Gaze: The Indian Public Sphere
Joke-Work on a Saturday Morning
Comic Belief? Laughter and Cultural Intimacy
Charou 4 Eva: Domesticity Lost and Refound
Charous and Ravans: A Story of Mutual Nonrecognition
AmaKula and amaZulu on the Colonial Estates
Durban, January 1949: "The Largest Race Riot in the World"
Cato Manor and the Urban Zulu
The Indian "1949 Syndrome" as a Social Text
The Syndrome Affirmed: Inanda 1985
Racism's Two Bodies
Racial Practice, Indian-Style
Africans at Our Doorsteps
Somatic Anxieties
Nonrecognition and the Elusive Master
Autonomy, Freedom, and Political Speech
Local Affairs and the Problem of Indian Speech
The House of Delhigoats
"Scandals Are the Foundations of the State"
Who Speaks for the Community? The Particular as Universalist Gesture
The Only Good Indian Is a Poor Indian: The ANC and the Indian Townships
"All the Way": On the Ways of the Tiger
From Tragedy to Comedy: Politics as a Form of Enjoyment
Movement, Sound, and Body in the Postapartheid City
The Steel Cages of Modernity
Driving while Brown
(Auto)mobility in the Postapartheid City
Vehicular Vernacular: Visual and Sonic
Taxis, Charou-Style
Conclusion: "Indianness," African-Style
The Unwieldy Fetish: Desi Fantasies, Roots Tourism, and Diasporic Desires
India as an Unwieldy Fetish
The Spiritual Homeland
Seeking Ancestral Roots
Finding Spiritual Truth
Catalysts of Modernity
Global Desi Dreamscapes: The Revival of Bollywood in South Africa
"What Does This Film Make of Me?"
Plot Summary
Who Are We Indians, After All?
Diaspora and the Unwieldy Fetish
Global Hindus and Pure Muslims: Universalist Aspirations and Territorialized Lives
Hinduism in Translation
Religious Practices, Hindu Missionaries, and Cultural Purification
A Nervous Relationship: Contemporary Hindu Practices in the Townships
The Call of Global Hinduism
Globalized Islam and the Impurities of the Past
Muslim Durban
Deculturation and the Invention of the Pure Muslim
"Oh Lord, Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes-Benz?"
Da'wah in the Township
Reaching for the Universal
The Saved and the Backsliders: The Charou Soul and the Instability of Belief
The Fragility of the Charou Soul
Signs of the Spirit
Reconfiguring Patriarchy and Gendered Surveillance
On Suits and Sermons
Looking like Kentucky...
Race, Gender, Body
Between Vessel and Substance: On the Exteriority of the Soul
Postscript: Melancholia in the Time of the "African Personality"
Notes
References
Index
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