Claudia Gastrow, MA


Claudia Gastrow is currently PhD student in Social Anthropology at the University of Chicago.  She is currently based in Luanda where she is conducting fieldwork for her thesis, “Negotiated Settlements: Housing and Citizenship in Luanda, Angola”.


MA Thesis

Designing Dystopias: Social Security in South Africa c. 1939 - 1946

This thesis traces social welfare provision and ultimately the rise and fall of a social welfare movement in the 1930s and 1940s. Whilst incorporating elements of social history, the primary thrust of the thesis is an intellectual history of social welfare in South Africa. Such an approach situates South Africa within larger colonial and international discussions. In addition, it exposes the negotiations and arguments of the individuals within "the movement" itself, highlighting the linkages between social welfare, segregation, class and race. It shows the ideas of the social welfare movement to be a product of contestation and differing views, especially over race and development. In doing this it aims to emphasise the role of social welfare in the creation of inequality in South Africa.