Katutura, located in Namibia’s major urban center and capital, Windhoek, was a township created by apartheid, and administered in the past by the most rigid machinery of the apartheid era. Namibia became a sovereign state in 1990, and Katutura reflects many of the changes that have taken place. No longer part of a rigidly bounded social system, people in Katutura today have the opportunity to enter and leave as their personal circumstances dictate. Influenced in recent years by significant urban migration and the changing political and economic situation in the new South Africa, as well as a myriad of other factors, this diverse community has held special interest for the author who did fieldwork there for several years prior to 1975. Pendleton’s recent visits provide a rich comparison of life in Katutura township during the peak of the apartheid years and in the post-independence period. In his systematic look at urbanization, poverty, stratification, ethnicity, social structure, and social history, he provides a compassionate view of the survivors of the unstable years of apartheid.
Wade C. Pendleton, Professor of Anthropology at San Diego State University in California, after having been refused entry into Namibia for eleven years, returned in 1987 to pursure a variety of research projects, including this follow-up to his earlier work in the township of Katutura.
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