Abstract

This book is about the Black middle class and intimacy. Although it has proved difficult for researchers to agree on a unified conception of class or Black middle classness (Khunou, 2015), the concept has however been important in providing us with a sense of who the black middle class are and how they go about their everyday life. Most importantly studies on class and the black middle class have been significant in facilitating an understanding of the political sphere in terms of voting patterns and contradictory actions of the state.

However, there is no research that focuses on how the Black middle class constitute and maintain intimate relationships. Consequently, this proposed study intends to examine how Black middle-class people think about and act out love as they engage in intimate relationships. The middle-class position is assumed to provide economic, political and most importantly economic stability, which might also be read to mean stable intimate relationships and home life. However, recent publications by Khunou and Krige (2013) and most recently (Khunou, 2015) make the argument that the Black middle-class position is precarious, as the majority of the Black middle class have an assert deficit due to the ills of apartheid engineering. Again, in a 2012 article on money and intimate relationship I show how money plays an important role in defining intimate relationships.

Using these two ideas this book shows how the precarious position of the Black middle class impacts intimate relationship formation and maintenance. The assumption that the black middle-class position brings with it economic stability might be construed to mean a number of things including marriage if it does this study shows the different experiences of intimacy by different individuals in the Black middle class position. These different experiences are presented from the perspectives of those in heterosexual marriages, those in gay relationships, those in cohabiting relationships and the perspectives of single middle-class women. Through the different chapters the book makes the argument that depending on the context the stable or shaky middle-class position facilitates the firmness or precarity of the marriage/intimate relationship and or whether individuals enter relationships and or stay in those relationships.

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