Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Sociology; Human Rights

Project Advisor 1

Joel Perlmann

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Amakwerekwere, is an informal term used by South Africans to identify African foreigners. This is an increasingly popular term in post-Apartheid South Africa, primarily because there has been an apparent increase in foreign Africans entering South Africa. The assumption is that African entering South Africa are somehow coming because they want to take part in the recent democratization and new freedoms of South Africa. In May of 2008, there was an outbreak of violence that started in the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg and spread to other regions of South Africa. The violence was deemed a facet of a trend in xenophobic attacks. However, no sufficient evidence has been provided to indicate that there is direct causality between the violence and anti-foreigner sentiment in the country. In fact, it has become sufficient simply to provide evidence of anti-foreigner or xenophobic sentiment. This inquiry seeks to investigate the ways in which xenophobic violence has been understood in post- Apartheid South Africa, and how legal and political assumptions regarding ‘rights’ and democratization have been an impediment to improving the social realities of many South Africans.

Distribution Options

Restricted for one year; then Open Access

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