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Life in a South African household, 1909-1923: Changing patterns in leisure and servitude

van der Waag I. (2011)


Domestic history in South Africa is largely an unploughed field. Yet, for much of South Africa's past, households were the places where concerns about class, gender and race intersected at a very close, personal level. Moreover, it was in the residences of the power elite that the contradictions between the ideas of a migrant aristocracy, notions of empire, and the practical needs for the maintenance of an ostentatious lifestyle, were revealed. In this article I use one elite household in Johannesburg (1909-1923) as a lens through which to explore a variety of these domestic experiences and to expose the nexus between race, class and empire in South African domestic history at the turn of the 20th century, so as to further develop ideas first advanced in my article in the Journal of Family History (2007). © South African Sociological Association.

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