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Grapes of Wrath: A burden of liquor carried by farm workers - a heritage borne by children
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Vredens Druvor : En börda av alkohol bland vinarbetare - ett arv som tynger barnen (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The thesis deals with the difficulties concerning alcohol use and misuse among Coloured farm workers within the heart of the wine industry in South Africa. The current extent of alcohol use and misuse in the rural areas of the Western Cape Province is commonly referred to as the legacy of the dop system. The dop system was a legislative practice whereas farm workers were provided with small portions of cheap wine throughout the workday. The practice was racially targeted towards Coloureds and thus contributed to the creation of a dependent labour force and extensive alcohol-related difficulties among Coloured farm workers. The dop system was formally abolished in 1961 but the practice proceeded into the 1990s. Alcohol related difficulties do however tend to continue without signs of change.

The main purpose of the study is to investigate how current difficulties of alcohol use and misuse affect children’s life outcome and educational opportunities. It has also been important to investigate various aspects of living and working conditions in the farm villages that may be linked to alcohol issues. Another aim is to determine contributing factors to the continuance of alcohol use and misuse despite the abolition of the dop system. The work has been conducted according to the method of oral history theories in order to provide a bottom up approach, thus allowing the perspectives and the stories of the farm workers themselves to come forth.

Coloured farm workers in the region are largely affected by socio-economic concerns and uncertainty in regards of labour. Inexpensive and readily available alcohol in illegal liquor outlets, so-called shebeens, is a driving force to the consumption of alcohol. Farm workers are partly isolated upon the farm villages and commonly have limited opportunities of unionizing. This makes it crucial to let the farm workers and their families express how alcohol difficulties are manifested in and affecting their daily lives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 111 p.
Keyword [en]
Alcohol, Agriculture, Children, Coloured, Dop System, Farm Workers, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, Paternalism, Post-Apartheid, Race, Shebeens, South Africa, Western Cape Province, Wine Industry, Women on Farms Project.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18200OAI: diva2:513632
Subject / course
Educational program
Lärarprogrammet, inriktning mot verksamhet i grundskolans senare år och gymnasiet
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-04-03 Created: 2012-04-03 Last updated: 2012-04-03Bibliographically approved

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