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With her shoulder to the wheel: the public life of Erika Theron (1907-1990)

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dc.contributor.advisor Brits JP
dc.contributor.advisor Du Bruyn, J.T. (Prof.) Tayler, Judith Anne 2011-10-24T06:30:55Z 2011-10-24T06:30:55Z 2010-11
dc.identifier.citation Tayler, Judith Anne (2010) With her shoulder to the wheel: the public life of Erika Theron (1907-1990), University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract This thesis is a biographical study of Erika Theron (1907-1990), an Afrikaner woman who played a significant role in many aspects of public life in South Africa in a critical time in the country‘s history. The study seeks to give recognition to her achievements, which have received scant attention in a historiography with a masculine bias. At the same time it examines her changing role from collaborator to critic of the apartheid system. Certain defining features of Theron‘s life have been highlighted. First, Theron grew up in a staunchly Afrikaner nationalist, service-oriented family which encouraged loyalty to her own people and civic responsibility. Second, she was unusual among Afrikaner women of her generation, in that she was highly educated, independent and ready to assume leadership roles. She became a pioneer in a number of fields, attaining high professional rank and holding important public offices – frequently as the first woman to do so in the country. The thesis focuses on five areas of Theron‘s public life. After returning from post-graduate studies abroad, she worked with Hendrik Verwoerd in the campaign to uplift poor whites, particularly the rehabilitation and re-integration of the Afrikaner poor. She thereafter commenced a long career as a social work academic, which included a number of milestones for her new discipline, for the profession of social work and for the advancement of women in academia. From the 1950s she served on the town council of Stellenbosch, including terms as deputy mayor and mayor. She played an important role in historic conservation but was also instrumental in the rigorous institution of apartheid structures in the town during the early days of National Party rule. In the early 1970s she served as chairman of the Commission of Enquiry into Coloured Affairs which influenced her personal views on the country‘s race policies. She became a public critic of many aspects of the apartheid system and vocal advocate for coloured rights. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (iv, 413 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Biography en
dc.subject Afrikaner nationalism en
dc.subject Afrikaner dissidents en
dc.subject Afrikaner women (twentieth century) en
dc.subject Welfare en
dc.subject Social work education en
dc.subject Poor white rehabilitation en
dc.subject Apartheid and local government en
dc.subject Policy relating to the coloured population en
dc.subject Architectural conservation (Stellenbosch) en
dc.subject.ddc 361.3092
dc.subject.lcsh Theron, Erika.
dc.subject.lcsh Women in public life -- South Africa -- Biography
dc.subject.lcsh Women in public life -- South Africa -- Biography
dc.subject.lcsh Social change -- South Africa -- History
dc.subject.lcsh Colored people (South Africa) -- Social conditions
dc.subject.lcsh Race relations -- South Africa
dc.title With her shoulder to the wheel: the public life of Erika Theron (1907-1990) en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department History D. Litt. et Phil. (History)

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