Seminar: Strong families in an ailing state – South African white Afrikaners and their post-apartheid resilience strategies

Speaker: Associate Professor Annika Teppo, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University

Editor-in-chief, Nordic Journal of African Studies

Docent, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki

Time: 9:00-11:00 am, Monday 25 November

Room: 314 building A, Department of Anthropology

About Speaker: Dr. Teppo is a cultural/social anthropologist who has been working on Cape Town since 1997. She has examined and published widely on race and whiteness, social engineering of public spaces, religious practices, moral personhood and neoliberal processes in the post-apartheid cities. Her present research is focused on the post-apartheid perseverance of Afrikaner families, for which she has received a three-year grant (2019 - 2022) from the Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

About the Seminar: After the era of formal apartheid ended in 1994, South Africa’s white Afrikaners have been economically successful in a country where income inequality is one of the highest in the world. Simultaneously, all South Africans have been increasingly exposed to new vulnerabilities. Crime, problems with infrastructure and economic as well as environmental issues have made life in South Africa challenging. Yet, the Afrikaners have managed to battle these fragilities. Their success can be explained partly by the inherited advantages from the apartheid era and social networks where whiteness is capital, but it does not explain all of it. In my field research, I have studied the role of their tight kinship organisation in their success. In this paper, I examine their social organisation in relation to the South African state, which many of them perceive as a ‘failed state’.


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