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By William J. Spurlin (auth.)

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Extra info for Imperialism within the Margins: Queer Representation and the Politics of Culture in Southern Africa

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7 While these specific historical differences need to be taken into account, it is important not to recreate race as spectacle in South African postapartheid politics since it was precisely this fetishization of racial difference that created and sustained the apparatus of apartheid in the first place. In other words, as Jolly argues, postcolonial critics must refuse “to hypostatize South Africa as the model in which the colonized black and the settler white eternally confront each other in the ‘ultimate racism’ ” (22) so as not to miss other sites of difference.

At the same time, while it is important to understand the difference of sexual politics in postapartheid South Africa, the nation-state as an object of analysis cannot be the endpoint of analysis or of emancipatory possibility. Given the immense political influence and power of the nation-state, disenfranchized groups, according to Parker, Russo, Sommer, and Yeager in their Introduction to Nationalisms and Sexualities, “have had to appeal to national values precisely to register their claims as political” (8).

Bodies that Matter 231; hereafter cited as BM) Returning to Moodie and Harries, then, it is evident that the younger “wives,” as well as the more senior men who took on the role as “husband,” displayed certain culturally and historically specific ideals of femininity and masculinity that were often performed in very ritualized ways, as well as in daily routines, to MIGRANT LABOR AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGES 41 the extent that the femininity and transvestism of the younger male, as Harries notes, was regarded as a way of buttressing the masculinity of the nuna (WCI 206).

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