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Are we there yet? Exploring empowerment at the microscale in the South African wine industry

Herman, A. (2014) Are we there yet? Exploring empowerment at the microscale in the South African wine industry. Environment and Planning A, 46 (8). pp. 1927-1945. ISSN 0308-518X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1068/a46293


Empowerment is a standard but ambiguous element of development rhetoric and so, through the socially complex and contested terrain of South Africa, this paper explores its potential to contribute to inclusive development. Investigating micro-level engagements with the national strategy of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) in the South African wine industry highlights the limitations, but also potential, of this single domain approach. However, latent paternalism, entrenched interests and a ‘dislocated blackness’ maintain a complex racial politics that shapes both power relations and the opportunities for transformation within the industry. Nonetheless, while B-BBEE may not, in reality, be broad-based its manifestations are contributing to challenging racist structures and normalising changing attitudes. This paper concludes that, to be transformative, empowerment needs to be re-embedded within South Africa as a multi-scalar, multi-dimensional dialogue and, despite the continuation of structural constraints, positions the local as a critical scale at which to initiate broader social change.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:37869
Uncontrolled Keywords:empowerment, wine, South Africa, power, transformation, development

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