The Nemesis of the Suburbs

Richard Turner and South African Liberalism

in Theoria
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  • 1 University of Johannesburg SFriedman@uj.ac.za
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Abstract

Richard Turner’s contribution to thinking on race in South Africa is often undervalued. As influential as his thinking on economic and social alternatives was, a close reading of his work in context suggests that his core concern was a critique of white liberalism, and that this was itself a means to a wider analysis of whiteness in a racially stratified society. An analysis of contemporary South Africa suggests that his critique remains an important resource in our attempt to discuss current realities. Acknowledging the centrality of racial domination in Turner’s thought highlights the continued salience of his understanding of South African social reality.

Contributor Notes

Steven Friedman is Research Professor in the Humanities Faculty of the University of Johannesburg. He is the author of Building Tomorrow Today, and the editor of The Long Journey and The Small Miracle (with Doreen Atkinson). His current work focuses on the theory and practice of democracy. His study of South African radical thought, Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid, was published in 2015. He writes a weekly column in Business Day on current political and economic developments. E-mail: SFriedman@uj.ac.za

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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