Tarminder Kaur

Tarminder Kaur

Tarminder Kaur is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of the Free State, South Africa. She graduated with a PhD from the University of the Western Cape, in 2016. Her research focuses on everyday sporting lives of those in spaces and collectives identified as in need of “development”. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled: Sporting Lives and “Development” Agendas: a critical analysis of sport and “development” nexus in the context of farm workers of the Western Cape, is an ethnography of sports in a small farming town of Rawsonville. She continues to conduct ethnographic study of sports among the racialized rural working class of South Africa. Her research paper, amaXhosa Maradona (under review for publication), was invited for discussion at The Football Scholars Forum, an online book-club based at the Michigan State University. The paper reflects on her current and prospective research, and an evolving book-length manuscript.

Subaltern Socialities Through the Lens of A Fairtrade Wine (“Sport-for-Development”) Initiative


This paper interrogates subaltern socialities in the context of a Fairtrade wine initiative, in which sport features as one among other “development” activities. Subaltern refers to a social group in a relatively powerless or disenfranchised structural status within a set of power relations. Subaltern socialities, therefore, are social interactions shaped by unequal power relations within which subalterns express themselves. In the context of development interventions and research, soundbites of subaltern testimonies have come to have a particular power in the shaping of development discourses. This paper draws from my ethnographic study of sport among the farm workers employed in the South African wine industry. In the structural and power hierarchy of the wine industry, it is the labour who forms the subaltern group. By focusing on the sports aspect of the Fairhills Association, a Fairtrade project launched in 2005, at the wine farms in and around a small rural town called Rawsonville in the Western Cape, I examine the meanings sport and development take on. I contrast and analyse a number of different explanations of uses of sport in the development of farm workers, situating these in the time, place and a multi-layered and mutating set of power relations. In so doing, I show how diverse, competing and conflicting understandings, interests, experiences and hopes are at play in shaping subaltern socialities.

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