The black middle class and democracy in South Africa

The black middle class and democracy in South Africa

Author: 
Southall, Roger
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press
Date published: 
2014
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Modern African Studies
Source: 
Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 52, No.4, December 2014, pp. 647-670
Abstract: 

Against the background of celebrations about the rise of a middle class in Africa and its widely posited role in promoting democracy, this paper explores the politics of the black middle class in South Africa. It does so by examining three propositions: first, that the black middle class was a positive force in the struggle for liberation and democracy; second, that post-1994 strategies of the African National Congress (ANC) government which have benefited it secure its political alignment with the ANC's ‘party-state’; and third, that its growth and increasing diversity will contribute to the consolidation of democracy. The conclusion drawn is that while the black middle class may indeed play an important role in furthering democracy, its political orientations and behaviour cannot be assumed to be inherently progressive.

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CITATION: Southall, Roger. The black middle class and democracy in South Africa . : Cambridge University Press , 2014. Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 52, No.4, December 2014, pp. 647-670 - Available at: http://library.au.int/black-middle-class-and-democracy-south-africa-6