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The politics of youth and violence in the townships of Johannesburg

Kooijmans, Frederik Johannus (2015)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The townships of Johannesburg developed as racially exclusive and deprived urban areas where many young people were directly exposed to the physical and systemic brutality of white minority rule in South Africa. This thesis demonstrates how these conditions proved fertile ground for some township youth to engage in violent confrontations with the state and within their communities. Physical violence proved for some township youth to be a necessary reaction to provocation or a method to claim masculine status and gain self-determination within their immediate environment and on a national scale. The author does not aim to provide justifications for youth violence or give explanations of individual motives, however emphasis will be placed on exploring risk factors and complexities of criminal and political violence in the townships of Johannesburg. The analysis of youth involvement in violence as victims and perpetrators prior to and during apartheid sheds light on continuities and differences of the politics and repertoires of violence in the urban landscapes of democratic South Africa. The author draws modern occurrences of youth violence in townships into a historical perspective and diffuses claims that current young generations of township dwellers are more aggressive and occupied with non-political struggles.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Shear, Keith
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Subjects:DT Africa
HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
HT Communities. Classes. Races
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5692
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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