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Cadernos de Estudos Africanos

Print version ISSN 1645-3794


CROS, Bernard. Managing racial diversity: Positional segregation in South African rugby union in the post-apartheid era. Cadernos de Estudos Africanos [online]. 2013, n.26, pp.153-176. ISSN 1645-3794.

This article intends to delineate the evolution of South African rugby union elite teams since the end of apartheid in the 1990s, when racially inclusive sports appeared, particularly the involvement of black players in what was often described as an essentially “white man’s game”. By relying on theoretical work on the notion of “centrality” and extensive statistical analysis, this article describes the limited transformation of South African rugby, both quantitatively and qualitatively, as blacks are generally confined to the “peripheral” and arguably less-important positions of the teams. In contrast, whites keep a firm control over positions that are both symbolically and functionally central, a pattern known as “positional segregation” or “stacking”.

Keywords : rugby union; race relations; discrimination; South Africa; stacking.

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