This book is drawn from diverse studies that grapple with Black Middle Class experiences in contemporary and historical South Africa. The chapters present research from diverse disciplines, and tackle issues related to being black and middle class, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Like many other social phemena, the black middle class concept is seen as complex and t easy to pin down. As a result, conceptualizations from these chapters are dynamic and relevant for understanding the position of the black middle class in contemporary South African society. An interesting dynamic explored by contributors is the critical engagement with the usually reductionist tions of black middle class experiences as ahistorical, homogeus experiences of a group of conspicuous consumers. These limiting tions are unpacked and repositioned in how the book is structured. This book was published as a special issue of Development Southern Africa.
Grace Khunou is Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She writes creatively and academically, and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and written chapters in edited books. She has also presented papers in international and local conferences. Her research interests are focused on gender and social policy, the Black Middle Class, narrative research, and transformation in Higher Education. She is a member and convener of the health working group for the South African Sociological Association, and a member of the International Sociological Association. She has recently co-edited a special issue on Father Connections for the Open Family Studies Journal, and a Special Issue on the emergent Black Middle Class for the journal Development Southern Africa.