Guide to the Leo Kuper (1908-1994) Papers

Collection Title: Leo Kuper (1908-1994) Papers
Dates: 1952-1966
Identification: 004
Creator: Kuper, Leo
Extent: 21 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: South African sociologist; includes correspondence and research materials from 1957-1963 relating to Leo Kuper's study of An African Bourgeoisie.
Repository: Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL,
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/africana
Email: africana@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-467-3084

Biographical/Historical Information

Leo Kuper was born November 24, 1908, in Johannesburg, South Africa. After receiving his law degree from Witwatersrand University in 1931, Kuper practiced law until 1940, when he joined the South African Army. He served in the military in Kenya, Egypt, and Italy until 1946 when he returned to South Africa to organize the National War Memorial Health Foundation, which helped to provide health services initially for Africans, Coloureds, and Indians, and which was expanded later to serve whites as well.

In 1947 Kuper attended the University of North Carolina, from which he received an M.A. in sociology. After returning briefly to South Africa, he was appointed Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Birmingham in England. While in Birmingham, Kuper also directed a research project, the purpose of which was to help the city of Coventry recover from the destructive bombing of World War II. This research resulted in the publication of Living in Towns (1953), which Kuper edited. After completing his doctorate in sociology at the University of Birmingham in 1952, Kuper returned to South Africa as Professor of Sociology at the University of Natal, where he remained until 1961.

An active member of South Africa's Liberal Party, Kuper published extensively in the field of race relations while at the University of Natal. In addition to a satirical novel on the newly segregated universities, College brew (1960), Kuper published Passive resistance in South Africa (1956), and Durban: a study of racial ecology (1958), with Hilstan Watts and Ronald Davies, while teaching at the university.

In 1961 Kuper was appointed Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he remained until his retirement in 1976. While at U.C.L.A., he served for four years as the Director of the African Studies Center and also as a member of the Board of Directors of the African Studies Association. In 1965 Kuper published An African Bourgeoisie (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965). Based upon research and interviews conducted in South Africa in the late 1950s and early 1960s, this study of the black professional and mercantile classes won the Melville Herskovits Award. More recently, Kuper edited Pluralism in Africa (1969), and has written Race, Class, and Power (1974), and The Pity of It All (1977).

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised of one folder of correspondence and 21 boxes of materials relating to the research conducted between 1957 and 1963 for Leo Kuper's study of An African Bourgeoisie (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965).

Kuper, assisted by two research assistants at the University of Natal, Anthony Ngubo and Bernard Magubane, conducted interviews with more than one hundred members of South Africa's black professional class, including doctors, lawyers, civil servants, teachers, ministers, nurses, and businessmen, whom Kuper identifies as “traders.”

These interviews, and the more general reading notes and newspaper files, comprise the basic document collection upon which Kuper's sociological analysis of South Africa's black middle class rested. The transcriptions of the interviews suggest that Kuper was primarily interested in the issues of mobility, freedom, and perceived social status and the relation of these concepts to South Africa's apartheid racial system. These interviews comprise the most valuable component of the collection.

Arrangement of Materials

The collection is arranged primarily by subject, categories which reflect the organization of Kuper's book. Most categories, such as the various occupational groups, contain two basic components: the primary source documentation and the analysis upon which the narrative of his study is based. The primary sources include transcriptions of interviews, reading notes, statistics, and questionnaire responses. The analyses consist of interpretations written primarily by Kuper, although his research assistants examined several topics carefully and provided Kuper with written interpretations for his book. In addition, six boxes of newspaper clippings, dated almost exclusively 1959-1962, on many aspects of South African life have been removed from the primary source materials and arranged alphabetically by subject in boxes 16 through 21.

A number of printed pamphlets and other published material related to apartheid have been separated from the collection.

Subjects

Geographical Name

South Africa--Politics and government

South Africa--Social conditions

Personal Name

Kuper, Leo

Subjects

Apartheid--South Africa

Middle class--South Africa

Middle class--South Africa--Interviews


Container List / Contents

  • Research files
    • Traders: interviews IBox 1, Folder 4
    • Traders: interviews IIBox 1, Folder 5
    • Traders: African traders course [Durban], 1959Box 1, Folder 6
    • Traders: report on the African Journal, 1957-1959Box 1, Folder 7
    • Control of trade; report and analysis, 1959Box 1, Folder 8
    • The Cape trading report, 1955Box 2, Folder 1
    • Traders: general files IBox 2, Folder 2
    • Traders: general files IIBox 2, Folder 3
    • Traders: analysisBox 2, Folder 4
    • Students: graduate student interviewsBox 2, Folder 5
    • Students: undergraduates and life histories interviewsBox 2, Folder 6
    • Students: medical school interviews IBox 3, Folder 1
    • Students: medical school interviews and notes IIBox 3, Folder 2
    • Students: medical school interviews and notes IIIBox 3, Folder 3
    • Students: interviews by Anthony NguboBox 3, Folder 4
    • Students: notes by Anthony Ngubo IBox 3, Folder 5
    • Students: notes by Anthony Ngubo IIBox 3, Folder 6
    • Problems of the educated: notes and analysisBox 3, Folder 7
    • University Education Bill, 1959Box 4, Folder 1
    • Student: misc. Notes and interviewsBox 4, Folder 2
    • Anthony Ngubo, "University students"; IBox 4, Folder 3
    • Anthony Ngubo, "University students"; IIBox 4, Folder 4
    • Students: history of the Marian Buildings IBox 4, Folder 5
    • Students: history of the Marian Buildings IIBox 4, Folder 6
    • University apartheid: analysisBox 4, Folder 7
    • Students: general analysisBox 4, Folder 8
    • Students: analysisBox 5, Folder 1
    • Students: analysisBox 5, Folder 2
    • Students: analysisBox 5, Folder 3
    • Students: analysisBox 5, Folder 4
    • Teachers union materialsBox 5, Folder 5
    • Teachers: Natal African Teachers Union materialsBox 5, Folder 6
    • Teachers: notes on race relationsBox 5, Folder 7
    • Teachers: attitudes and religionBox 5, Folder 8
    • History of Adams CollegeBox 5, Folder 9
    • Interview with Selby NguboBox 5, Folder 10
    • Teachers: misc. NotesBox 5, Folder 11
    • Teachers: analysis IBox 6, Folder 1
    • Teachers: analysis IIBox 6, Folder 2
    • Teachers: analysis III [files, notes, statistics]Box 6, Folder 3
    • Teachers: analysis IV [social class, political attitudes]Box 6, Folder 4
    • Teachers: analysis V [statistics, social composition]Box 6, Folder 5
    • Teachers: analysis VI [statistics]Box 6, Folder 6
    • Teachers: analysis VII [statistics]Box 6, Folder 7
    • Nurses: King Edward [questionnaire]Box 6, Folder 8
    • Nurses: ClairwoodBox 6, Folder 9
    • Nurses: interviewsBox 7, Folder 1
    • Nurses: backgroundsBox 7, Folder 2
    • Nurses: analysisBox 7, Folder 3
    • Ministers: notes and interviews IBox 7, Folder 4
    • Ministers: notes and interviews IIBox 7, Folder 5
    • Doctors: interviews, notes, research materialsBox 7, Folder 6
    • Lawyers and articled clerksBox 8, Folder 1
    • ClerksBox 8, Folder 2
    • Civil servants: interviewsBox 8, Folder 3
    • Journalists and social workers: interviews and notesBox 8, Folder 4
    • Authors and health educatorsBox 8, Folder 5
    • Professions [general]: interviewsBox 8, Folder 6
    • Lamont and Cato Manor: interviewsBox 8, Folder 7
    • Lamont and Cato Manor: field notesBox 8, Folder 8
    • Subjective aspects of social class: interviews and notesBox 9, Folder 1
    • Who's Who biographical informationBox 9, Folder 2
    • Occupations [general]: interviews and notesBox 9, Folder 3
    • Professions: general analysisBox 9, Folder 4
    • Religion: notesBox 9, Folder 5
    • South African religion: notesBox 9, Folder 6
    • American Board MaterialBox 9, Folder 7
    • Protestants: notesBox 9, Folder 8
    • Roman Catholics: notesBox 9, Folder 9
    • Race relations: IndiansBox 10, Folder 1
    • Race relations: generalBox 10, Folder 2
    • Disturbances IBox 10, Folder 3
    • Disturbances IIBox 10, Folder 4
    • Disturbances IIIBox 10, Folder 5
    • Powers of control: notesBox 10, Folder 6
    • Pan African Conference: notes, 1959-1961Box 10, Folder 7
    • Politics: notesBox 10, Folder 8
    • Advisory boards: interviews and notesBox 11, Folder 1
    • Advisory boards: notes and analysisBox 11, Folder 2
    • Advisory boards: LamontvilleBox 11, Folder 3
    • Advisory boards: ChestervilleBox 11, Folder 4
    • Advisory boards: TomsterBox 11, Folder 5
    • Advisory boards: JacobsBox 11, Folder 6
    • Advisory boards: Dalton RoadBox 11, Folder 7
    • Advisory boards: S.T. SmithBox 11, Folder 8
    • Advisory boards: BaumannvilleBox 11, Folder 9
    • Advisory boards: views of membersBox 11, Folder 10
    • Advisory boards: regulations and minutesBox 11, Folder 11
    • Advisory boards: reports on trading fileBox 11, Folder 12
    • African National Congress: notesBox 12, Folder 1
    • African National Congress: Youth League, 1959Box 12, Folder 2
    • African National Congress: minutes, 1960Box 12, Folder 3
    • African National Congress: background of leadersBox 12, Folder 4
    • African National Congress: Conference on Tomlinson CommissionBox 12, Folder 5
    • Tribalism: interviewsBox 12, Folder 6
    • Tribalism: analysisBox 12, Folder 7
    • Bantu lawsBox 12, Folder 8
    • Bantu education and misc.Box 12, Folder 9
    • Voluntary associations [sports]: interviewsBox 12, Folder 10
    • Sports: associationsBox 12, Folder 11
    • Sports: Durban and District African Football AssociationBox 13, Folder 1
    • Sports: International Olympic Committee memo, 1961Box 13, Folder 2
    • Sports: other sportsBox 13, Folder 3
    • Sports: notesBox 13, Folder 4
    • Sports: analysis IBox 13, Folder 5
    • Sports: analysis IIBox 13, Folder 6
    • Status of women: notesBox 14, Folder 1
    • Development of South African personalityBox 14, Folder 2
    • Conspicuous consumption: notes and analysisBox 14, Folder 3
    • Urban AfricaBox 14, Folder 4
    • Urban administrationBox 14, Folder 5
    • Scotch-Gampel ProjectBox 14, Folder 6
    • Colour bar: analysisBox 14, Folder 7
    • Durban International Club: general materialsBox 14, Folder 8
    • South African Native Affairs CommissionBox 14, Folder 9
    • Conferences: misc. NotesBox 14, Folder 10
    • Economic, social and political background materialsBox 14, Folder 11
    • Hilda Kuper: Natives Mine Wages Commission summaryBox 15, Folder 1
    • Bernard Magubane: bachelor's thesisBox 15, Folder 2
    • Bernard Magubane: master's thesisBox 15, Folder 3
    • Leo Kuper: [Typescript draft]Box 15, Folder 4
    • [Draft]Box 15, Folder 5
    • African bourgeoisie [Draft]Box 15, Folder 6
    • African bourgeoisie [Draft]Box 15, Folder 7
    • African bourgeoisie [Draft]Box 15, Folder 8
    • African bourgeoisie [Draft]Box 15, Folder 9
    • Clipping files
      • African National CongressBox 16, Folder 1
      • African National CongressBox 16, Folder 2
      • African National CongressBox 16, Folder 3
      • ApartheidBox 16, Folder 4
      • BantustansBox 16, Folder 5
      • BantustansBox 16, Folder 6
      • Boycotts (internal)Box 16, Folder 7
      • Boycotts (overseas)Box 16, Folder 8
      • DisturbancesBox 17, Folder 1
      • DisturbancesBox 17, Folder 2
      • DisturbancesBox 17, Folder 3
      • DisturbancesBox 17, Folder 4
      • OccupationsBox 17, Folder 5
      • PoliticsBox 17, Folder 6
      • Powers of controlBox 18, Folder 1
      • Powers of controlBox 18, Folder 2
      • Powers of controlBox 18, Folder 3
      • Race relationsBox 18, Folder 4
      • Race relationsBox 18, Folder 5
      • Race relationsBox 18, Folder 6
      • ReligionBox 19, Folder 1
      • SportsBox 19, Folder 2
      • SportsBox 19, Folder 3
      • SportsBox 19, Folder 4
      • Sports (colour bar)Box 20, Folder 1
      • Status of womenBox 20, Folder 2
      • Trade unionsBox 20, Folder 3
      • Universities and university studentsBox 20, Folder 4
      • Urban AfricaBox 20, Folder 5
      • MiscellaneousBox 21, Folder 1
      • MiscellaneousBox 21, Folder 2
      • MiscellaneousBox 21, Folder 3
    • Oversize charts and tables
      • Oversize charts and tablesBox 21, Folder 4
  • BiographicalBox 1, Folder 1
  • Correspondence, 1954-1966Box 1, Folder 2
  • LecturesBox 1, Folder 3