International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

“This thing it is not finished.” Political Identity, Democracy, and the Commodification of Justice: Redistributing Wealth in South Africa, 1980-2003
Judith Stevenson

This paper examines the actions of former radical South African grassroots level activists who dropped out of politics during the post-apartheid decade. It discusses their response to the “new” South Africa, and suggests that a number of them, disillusioned with their new democracy, shifted their political identities as socialist minded comrades to contextual capitalists who placed commodities in a central position in their lives. I present a case study of a woman whose actions illustrate that sites of resistance are sometimes difficult to distinguish from adaptations to a larger scene, in this case a highly charged, politicized set of social relations embedded within contested ideological structures.

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