Monday, May 7, 2007

Kathryn Pillay

Kathryn Pillay
Kathryn Pillay is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is currently pursuing her PhD which forms part of broader project related to exploring cross-generational construction of social identities in contemporary South Africa.

In her chapter, The Minority Report: Undressing ‘Indians’ in Durban, Kathryn takes issue with popular ways of homogenising and fixing Indian identity. She starts with an extract from a tourist brochure about Durban’s ‘little India’ which presents Indian culture as a mix of the exotic and mystical as if transported straight from India. She emphasises the importance of differentiating 'Indians' in terms of class and other variables. And she critiques stereotypes of Indian masculinity and femininity. Kathryn explains her own reluctance to be classified—not only in stereotypical ways—but also as Indian, since she equates the two. She views the South African 'Indian' identity as an apartheid category.

Pillay, Kathryn. 'The Minority Report: Undressing ‘Indians’ in Durban', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 319-329.