Dictionaries and Discourses of Deviance

Monday, 17 September, 2012 - 15:00

Presented by : 
JimmyPieterse

The term ‘moffie’ stands central to changing discourses around abnormal or deviant Afrikaner masculinity in apartheid South Africa. Different meanings assigned to the word delineated relationally what was considered normal and acceptable at any given time, and helped the dominant culture police the boundaries of the wider gender order. In this paper I unpack changing lexical representations of the word ‘moffie’ and compare these to contemporary narratives sourced from the popular print media and ethnography. I argue that this allows us to better understand the reorganisation of sexual categories among Afrikaans-speakers, as well as changes in the gendered ordering of Afrikaner society during the second half of the twentieth century.

Paper: 

PDF icon Pieterse2012.pdf

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