Hostels in South Africa: Spaces of Perplexity

Published:
Publisher:
UKZN Press
ISBN:
9781869143718
Dimensions:
262 pages - 230mm x 150mm
Formats:
Paperback / softback (9781869143718)
Digital download (9781869143725)

This book is about the transformation of KwaMashu Hostel in Durban in the twenty-first century – from a single-sex men’s hostel to family accommodation in community residential units. It presents the continuities and discontinuities that take place as hostel-dwellers grapple with everyday livelihood struggles. This book is about the transformation of KwaMashu Hostel in Durban in the twenty-first century – from a single-sex men’s hostel to family accommodation in community residential units. It presents the continuities and discontinuities that take place as hostel-dwellers grapple with everyday livelihood struggles. The broader South African labour market does not make it easy for rural-urban migrants, who continue to make the same journeys their grandfathers, fathers and uncles, and later their grandmothers, mothers and aunts took, in search of employment opportunities, although the context for these journeys has changed immeasurably. Hostels in South Africa engages with challenges and triumphs of hostel-dwellers, as they both resist and embrace the process of transformation, the clashes between men and women and across generations, and feelings of nostalgia for the past. Because the author spent time living at KwaMashu Hostel during the two years of her fieldwork, this book presents an intimate view of hostels from the inside. Nomkhosi Xulu Gama is a researcher at the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology and a senior lecturer in General Education. Her main interests are in formerly single-sex workers’ hostels, rural-urban connections, and gender and livelihoods. She is a Fulbright Scholar and is currently the deputy chairperson for the South African Sociological Association.

Contents
Acknowledgements ix
Introduction: Unveiling the Hostel’s Perplexity
PART 1: HOSTELS
1 Hostels in History
2 Hostels as Community Residential Units in the New South Africa
PART 2: LIVELIHOODS
3 Everyday Livelihood Struggles across the Rural-Urban Divide
4 Shrinking Opportunities
5 Sexuality, Criminality and Social Grants
PART 3: PRODUCING PERPLEXITY
6 Cultural Formations
7 Production of Gendered Spaces
8 Household and Housing Dynamics
Conclusion
Select Bibliography
Index