Paperback / softback
June 2, 2010
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6.00 Inches (US)
.75 Pounds (US)
$24.95 USD, £19.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Beer, Sociability, and Masculinity in South Africa

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.

About the Author

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.


"The book is dense, not only with the rollicking details of history . . . but with a new vocabulary and architecture for not only the study of alcohol, but the conceptual staples of the humanities and social sciences in Southern Africa—race and gender, class and culture, state and capital, past and present. For that reason, it would be sad if the book were to be resigned to a readership only interested in histories of alcohol. It deserves a much wider audience, and a much more sustained conversation."—South African Historical Journal

"Mager's book raises important questions about the transformation of South Africa that can be examined through the beer industry. Vol. 52.2, 2011"—Journal of African History

"It is refreshing to read a work of history that bravely crosses the border into the post-apartheid era.April 2011"—American Historical Review

"There is fascinating material on social change in this book, and the discussion of drinking and male sociability offers a significant contribution to the field.March, 2011"—H-Africa

"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
Indiana University Press
African Systems of Thought

9780253221803 : beer-sociability-and-masculinity-in-south-africa-mager
Paperback / softback
248 Pages
$24.95 USD

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