Cover for WAETJEN: Workers and Warriors: Masculinity and the Struggle for Nation in South Africa. Click for larger image

Workers and Warriors

Masculinity and the Struggle for Nation in South Africa

Using South Africa as a case study this book explores how the politics of masculinity and gender power are at the heart of tensions in nation building

In this compact, powerful new study Thembisa Waetjen explores how gender structured the mobilization of Zulu nationalism in South Africa as antiapartheid efforts gained force during the 1980s. Undercutting assumptions of male power and nationalism as monolithic, Workers and Warriors demonstrates the ways that masculinities may be plural, conflict-ridden, and crucial not only to the formation of loyalty but also to why some nationalisms fail.

"Thembisa Waetjen has written a dramatic and illuminating study of masculinity and politics, with relevance far wider than the remarkable case of Zulu nationalism. This book casts fresh light on ethnic appeals, nation-building, authority, and gender identities. It develops a new line of thought about the limits of masculine ideology in overcoming social divisions. This is an important contribution to our understanding of gender, development, and nationality."--R. W. Connell, author of Masculinities and Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics


Thembisa Waetjen most recently taught as a visiting lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Natal, Durban. She has published articles in journals such as Theory and Society and, with co-author Gerhard Maré, was a contributor to Changing Men in Southern Africa.

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