This dissertation has been written under the aegis of the Department of Philosophy, and I acknowledge with thanks the advice and encouragement that I have received from my supervisor. Dr. John Forrester. But the subject, the deployment of racism in South Africa, requires the student to go beyond traditional philosophy, in which I had my previous training at UNISA and the University of Witwatersrand and to span disciplines with which previously I had little acquaintance. The scope of this work might appear ambitious, but it makes no pretensions to the exhaustive knowledge or the mastery of skills in disciplines outside my own which a 'definitive' treatment would have required. Rather, the purpose of this work has been more modest, but original: to enquire whether an alternative approach to the analysis of racism in South Africa, influenced by Foucault, might contribute to the understanding, of a subject which commands much contemporary interest in academic circles and beyond.
I certify that this dissertation is the result of my own work and includes nothing which is the outcome of work done in collaboration; full references to the sources on which it has been based are given throughout in footnotes, and in the- bibliography.
In many respects, the long odyssey which this dissertation has involved (made longer by circumstances outside my control, such as illness) has been a solitary experience: by attempting to take some of Foucault's ideas into uncharted territory. I have had no blue prints and relatively little contact with those who study his texts in a European context; and because of the angle of vision from which I have looked at the subject, I also have had less contact than I would have liked with those who are engaged in the debates about South Africa. In any event, most academics in South Africa, however open-minded they are, still tend to belong to close the black student is concerned. None of this has made access to materials, or to the exchange of ideas which bear upon them, any easier. So the faults of this dissertation are very much my own.
But along the way I have incurred many debts of gratitude for many kindnesses, both institutional and personal. I wish in particular to acknowledge the support of the Trustees of the Cambridge Livingstone Trust who awarded me a scholarship, and the kind interest of Mr. R.F. Holmes, its Secretary. I also gratefully acknowledge the help that I have received from the African Education Trust, Newnham College and the Managers of the Smuts Memorial Fund who, together with New Hall, have recently appointed me to a newly-created post in Cambridge, a Fellowship in Inter-ethnic Relations. In South Africa, I wish to thank Andre du Toit, Peter Hudson and Chabani Manganyi. In Cambridge, Hugh Mellor, Elizabeth Anscombe and Margueritte Morris, have given me encouragement; Geoffrey Hawthorn, John Iliffe and John Lonsdale have cast an indulgent eye on earlier, and imperfect, drafts, and I appreciate their advice to a student who was not their own but was finding her way across unfamiliar terrain.
I also thank most warmly lan Franklin for his friendly Support during my time in Cambridge. Anil Seal, a Trustee of the Livingstone Trust, has given me good advice, some of which I have taken. And I owe particular thanks to Mrs. Tina Bone who has done a splendid job in reducing a mound of manuscript to final typescript.
And lastly, I acknowledge with deep gratitude the sacrifices of my parents who gave me an education and an opportunity to contribute, in however small a way, to the endeavour by which the peoples of South Africa are beginning to take their place in the study of their society and to challenge the systems of thought which underpin it.