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Class, Race, and Inequality in South Africa$
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Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108927

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108927.001.0001

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Social Change and Income Inequality Under Apartheid

Social Change and Income Inequality Under Apartheid

(p.90) Chapter 3 Social Change and Income Inequality Under Apartheid
Class, Race, and Inequality in South Africa

Jeremy Seekings

Nicoli Nattrass

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the transformation of the South African society during the four decades of apartheid, focusing on the processes of class formation and the changing patterns of income inequality. One process of social change is deagrarianisation, which transformed South Africa into a society that was unusually dependent on wage labour. Between 1950 and 1975, the overall distribution of incomes displayed elements of both continuity and change. By 1975, there were clear indications of a growing differentiation within the African population, but race still remained a key factor in inequality. The chapter concludes with alternative trajectories that South Africa might have followed: the route of land reform and the route of uncontrolled urbanisation.

Keywords:   South African society, apartheid, class formation, income inequality, deagrarianisation, race, land reform, urbanisation, wage labour, South Africa

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