This ethnography shows how certain aspects of the Pretoria Boeremark can be seen to have symbolic resonances with contemporary South African society. Reflecting both economic and cultural practices since 1994, as well as the ways in which it can be construed as being paradigmatic of Afrikaans whiteness in the post-Apartheid era, and how dissonance within this dominant whiteness can be created in the neo-liberal nature of South African society. Markets are amongst the most ancient forms of commercial exchange as well as, in South Africa today, being at the forefront of a globalised cosmopolitanism. The Pretoria Boeremark straddles this divide, being both a source of household provisioning and a ‘modish’ place to sample culture through food. An exploration of the Boeremark’s history, its location in the changing Pretoria suburb of Silverton and its adoption of “free-market” principles lays the foundation for a descriptive ethnography of the market. This ethnography, constructed from participant observation and interviews with vendors and customers, explores the ways in which commercial and non-commercial exchanges at the market lead to what Carsten’s calls “practices of relatedness” and how these practices serve to construct the market as a, nominally, Afrikaans cultural phenomenon. All these explorations come together to illustrate the Boeremark, based on the entanglement of economic, social and cultural aspects of the market, as a possible microcosm of South African economic and cultural practices.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.