Gender, Age and the Politicisation of Space during the Time of Political Violence in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Bonnin, Debby. 2014. “Gender, Age and the Politicisation of Space during the Time of Political Violence in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.” Gender, Place & Culture 21 (5): 550–66. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2013.802669.

Author: Debby Bonnin


This article examines the way in which the modality of the political violence between Inkatha and the United Democratic Front politicised space in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The article demonstrates how place is actively produced through everyday practices. It shows how the spatiality of the violence shifted – from the body to multiple sites of everyday life such as the school and the household and finally to the neighbourhood. Residents were drawn into the violence differentially on the basis of their gender and age, rather than political beliefs and affiliations. Places were politicised in ways that linked their meaning to the political identity of those found in that space. By presenting a spatialised analysis of the political violence, and illustrating how the production of place articulated with the co-production of political identities, this article makes a novel contribution to the existing literature on political violence in KwaZulu-Natal. 


Keywords: South Africa, political violence, gender, place, political identities

Topics: Gender, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

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