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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:When in Rome: Claiming the Right to Define Neighbourhood Character in South Africa's Suburbs
Author:Ballard, RichardISNI
Periodical:Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:urban sociology
suburban areas
Urbanization and Migration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Law, Human Rights and Violence
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
External link:https://muse.jhu.edu/article/186271
Abstract:In South Africa, some white residents claim that they are the established residents of their neighbourhoods and their cities. The fact that their location in certain parts of urban areas for generations is the result of influx control and the Group Areas Act is suspended in these accounts. This establishedness is naturalized, in part through a sense that cities are a fundamentally colonial creation, and in part through attempts to claim that urban land was empty or used with the permission of existing groups. Although white people arrived in South Africa as a result of colonialism, some insist that they are unproblematically connected with the land they occupied. Now that these neighbourhoods have been opened up to people previously excluded by law, some are deploying their prior establishment there to suggest that they can continue to determine the character of their cities and neighbourhoods. This paper draws on the work of cultural theorists interested in the identity politics of place to examine the sense of being 'native' that has allowed white South Africans to defend their suburban turf in the wake of postapartheid change. It also uses data from interviews conducted in 1997 in Berea, a suburb of Durban. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]