Status and Respectability in the Cape Colony, 1750-1870: A Tragedy of Manners

Synopsis

This compelling example of the new cultural history of South Africa is a subtle and wide-ranging study of status and respectability in the colonial Cape. Focusing on domestic relationships, gender, education, and religion, it analyzes values and modes of thinking current in different social strata, arguing that these cultural factors were related to high political developments. The result is a rich account of changes in social identity that accompanied the transition from Dutch to British overrule, and the development of white racism and ideologies of resistance to white domination.