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Catalog Archive / Spring 2021

A Bold Profession
African Nurses in Rural Apartheid South Africa

Women in Africa and the Diaspora

“This timely monograph on the history of nursing vocation, tenaciously pursued by women apartheid South Africa's Ciskei area, is a captivating read. One marvels how A Bold Profession, adeptly elucidates transcending intricacies of nursing beyond mere conventional health practice, onto other facets of social history in this region.”
—Luvuyo Wotshela, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

In rural South African clinics, Black nurses played critical roles. Charged with administering valuable and life-saving health care measures despite a lack of equipment and personnel, these nurses had to navigate the intersections of traditional African healing practices, changing gender relations, and increasing educational and economic opportunities for South Africa's Black middle class between the 1960s and 1980s.

Leslie Anne Hadfield compellingly demonstrates how these women were able to successfully carve out their own professional space and reshape notions of health and healing in the Eastern Cape. Bringing forth the stories of these nurses in their own voices, A Bold Profession is an homage to their dedication to the well-being of their communities. Hadfield sheds light on the struggles of balancing commitment to career and family lives during an oppressive apartheid. The volume fills an important gap for scholars studying the history of women, nursing, and health care in South Africa, illuminating the humanity of health care workers.

 

Leslie Anne Hadfield is an associate professor of African history at Brigham Young University. She is the author of Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa.

 

 

Praise

“Hadfield's sensitive and respectful study is a reminder that every day, nurses are out on the front line and can be found serving communities in remote rural areas accessed with difficulty. This is an important book for anyone interested in health care and in making sense of how the past continues to shape the present in South Africa.”
—Anne Mager, University of Cape Town

 

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Book Title

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May 2021
LC: 2020035411 RT
304 pp. 6 x 9
12 b/w illus., 3 maps, 2 tables

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Casebound $79.95 S
ISBN 9780299331207
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