Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Map of Sophiatown

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

Many people have helped us make this book. It is above all by and about Sophiatown residents. It took shape in and is comprised of conversations with and among several dozen people who stay in Sophiatown. The book includes only a small selection of innumerable...

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Introduction to the US Edition

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pp. xiii-xxvii

In 1996 the American magazine Newsweek asked noted South African writer Andre Brink to explain a bizarre paradox that South Africa seemed to present to the outside world. The occasion was the opening of public hearings by the new Truth and Reconciliation...

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1. Getting Acquainted with Neighbours on the Block

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pp. xxviii-19

On a Sunday afternoon, 7 June 2009, 13 residents of the southern end of Good and Gold streets came together in a park that joined their two streets to discuss how they could get to know each other better and how together they might build a community...

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2. Visualising a Shared Place and Making a Shared Past

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pp. 20-55

At the initial block meetings several participants expressed a desire to get to know each other better and to explore together how they made sense of Sophiatown, including what they saw as challenges and mysteries about the place. While the participants...

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3. Making Family around Mealtimes

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pp. 56-73

Since 2010 a group of women has come together monthly to form a cooking club where they exchange experiences about preparing food. At their meetings one person demonstrates a meal, describing the recipe and how she learned to make it. Often, the dozen...

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4. Becoming Neighbours and Creating Community

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pp. 74-123

In this chapter residents reflected on how they reached beyond their immediate family and friends to build relationships with neighbours and take part in the larger community. From residents’ conversations, we heard that many felt the need to turn strangers...

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5. Experiencing Change

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pp. 124-170

Hovering over many of these conversations, sometimes spoken, sometimes not, were attempts to identify and explore hopes, fears and realities unleashed by the political transformation of 1994. Everyone had heard politicians and journalists speak of an...

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Epilogue

Desmond Sheik

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pp. 171-173

The transcripts you have just read came from drives by Sophiatown residents and University of Johannesburg facilitators to get the community involved in talks and conversations about living in Sophiatown today. We heard about crime and we spoke about cooking...