240pp., paperback, Pietermaritzburg, 2017
Explores the postapartheid identity of white Afrikaans-speaking women through the concepts of 'ordentlikheid' (respectability) and the 'volksmoeder' (mother of the nation).
"...offers a path-breaking, nuanced and insightful reading of white, middle-class, heterosexual 'Afrikaner' women in postapartheid South Africa. Van der Westhuizen's analysis of popular culture draws on poststructuralist theory to provide insight into how key signifiers work to fix meaning and shape everyday life. 'Sitting Pretty' also crucially explores the redemptive possibilities of dissenting Afrikaners, bringing home the implications of the role of shame in the transformation of relations and the restoration of ties to others.Van der Westhuizen's mapping of struggles to fix meaning in popular culture makes a serious contribution to our understanding of the complexities of the postapartheid order, and to what is demanded from us if we are truly to realise that order." Aletta Norval, Professor of Political Theory, University of Sussex, and author of "Deconstructing Apartheid Discourse"
Christi van der Westhuizen is also the author of "White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party". Currently she is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Pretoria.