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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Decency and exclusion: a symbolic interpretation of post-displacement discriminatory discourse in De Doorns, South Africa
Author:Hugo, Nicola M.
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 2332-3264)
Geographic term:South Africa
group identity
Abstract:From 14-17 November 2009 an estimated 3000 Zimbabweans were violently and forcefully displaced from their dwellings in a rural farming area, De Doorns, in the Western Cape, South Africa. This paper looks at a discourse of decency used by residents of Stofland, a shack settlement in De Doorns, to contribute, through symbolic interpretation, to an understanding of discriminatory motives behind the expulsion. Based on field research between March and July 2010 among both victims and perpetrators of displacement in De Doorns, the analysis reveals the logic behind discrimination and the ways in which discrimination manifests and is perpetuated through language and action. In Stofland, Zimbabweans are attributed the characteristics of being unclean, indecent and diseased, i.e. they represent disorder, dirt and danger. This discourse of decency is discussed in relation to findings that suggest that, far from being the result of a common identity, displacement motives are based on perceived difference and constructed entitlement identities. The latter need to be understood in relation to desires for material emancipation in postapartheid South Africa. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract, edited]