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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


ATKINSON, Doreen. Patriarchalism and paternalism in South African "Native Administration" in the 1950sPatriargisme en Paternalisme in Suid-Afrikaanse "Naturelle-Administrasie" in die 1950's. Historia [online]. 2009, vol.54, n.1, pp.262-280. ISSN 2309-8392.

This article analyses the normative dimensions of urban administration in South Africa in the 1950s, focusing particularly on the administration of urban blacks. It argues that an "ethical life" or ethos of patriarchalism prevailed, and that this formed the normative backdrop for widespread paternalism on the part of white officials. However, the ethos of patriarchalism was fraught with ambiguities, because the political future of urban blacks within "white cities" remained unclear. Some officials believed that urban blacks would remain permanently subordinate in the cities, while others believed that they would eventually achieve full status as equals within a modern civil society. This ambiguity bedevilled the design of urban policies, and led to constant confusion and debates about appropriate urban management systems.

Keywords : 1950s; apartheid; black administration; Doctor Language; ethical life; IANA; inequality; locations; municipal government; municipal officials; native administration; Native Advisory Boards; Native Affairs Department; paternalism; patriarchalism; patriarchy; rights; segregation; townships; urban government.

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