“The Ubuntu Strategy”: Commodification and the Affective Politics of Ubuntu

  • Hanneke Stuit


Stuit discusses the intersections between commodification, affect, and politics in recent uses of ubuntu. She discusses the role of language and affect in the recent outbreaks of xenophobic violence in South Africa and addresses the strategic use of ubuntu’s positive affective charge in market-oriented approaches of ubuntu locally and globally. Objects discussed are a FIFA commercial, Ubuntu Cola, Ubuntu Linux, and recent management and HRM discourses. With reference to Žižek’s commodity fetishism, Stuit shows that these marketed expressions of ubuntu strategically circulate the positive affect associated with ubuntu and problematically rely on notions of social exclusion and private property. The final case study of the book focuses on the political application of ubuntu by the Durban Shack Dwellers Movement in comparison with Hardt and Negri’s concept of the multitude.


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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanneke Stuit
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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