What is it about?
Over the last twenty years South Africa has experienced a surge in xenophobic violence. For more than a decade, the state-sanctioned interpretation of this violence was as follows: it is ‘just crime’. This article examines the popularity of the government’s interpretation of xenophobic violence by looking at nationally representative public opinion data. The government’s ‘just crime’ discourse was found to be unpopular and most of the general population favoured other interpretations.
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Why is it important?
The results of this study demonstrate a widespread acceptance of negative stereotypes about foreigners in South Africa. Many in the country blame the violence on the actions of the foreign-born, seeing the attacks as a form of vigilantism. This victim-blaming is dangerous as it demeans those affected by xenophobic violence and may also lead victims to secondary victimization (i.e., invert or overt discrimination against survivors of hate crimes).
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The Popularity of State Discourses on Anti-Immigrant Violence in South Africa, The Round Table, September 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/00358533.2019.1658345.
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