Beer, Sociability, and Masculinity in South Africa

Beer, Sociability, and Masculinity in South Africa

Anne Kelk Mager
Distribution: South Africa
Publication date: 06/02/2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22180-3
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Beer connects commercial, social, and political history in this sobering look at the culture of drinking in South Africa. Beginning where stories of colonial liquor control and exploitation leave off, Anne Kelk Mager looks at the current commerce of beer, its valorizing of male sociability and sports, and the corporate culture of South African Breweries [SAB], the world’s most successful brewing company. Mager shows how the industry, dominated by a single brewer, was compelled to comply with legislation that divided customers along racial lines, but also promoted images of multi-racial social drinking in the final years of apartheid. Since the transition to majority rule, SAB has rapidly expanded into new markets—including the United States with the purchase of Miller Brewing Company. This lively book affords a unique view into global manufacturing, monopolies, politics and public culture, race relations, and cold beer.

Author Bio

Anne Kelk Mager is Associate Professor of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town. She is author of Gender and the Making of a South African Bantustan: A Social History of the Ciskei, 1945–1959.


“A compelling story of how one of the most successful corporations in South Africa managed to thrive during the apartheid period. . . . At the same time, this is a study of the history of beer drinking, corporate culture in South Africa, the public sphere under apartheid and after, and gender and race relations.”
 — Ivan Karp, Emory University

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Table of Contents

1. E-spotini: Illicit Drinking, Prohibition, and Sociability in Apartheid’s Townships
2. "If You Want to Run with the Big Dogs": Beer Wars, Competition, and Monopoly
3. Beer Advertising: Making Markets and Imagining Sociability in a Divided Society
4. "Tomorrow Will Also Be a Hard Day": Antisocial Drinking Cultures and Alcoholic Excess
5. Remaking the Old Order: Beer, Power, and Politics
6. Heritage and Beer Tourism: Re-imagining Beer after Apartheid
7. Global Competition, World Class Manufacturing, and National Economic Restructuring
Epilogue: Global and Local

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