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Malevolent Traditions: Hostel Violence and the Procreational Geography of Apartheid

Glen S. Elder
Journal of Southern African Studies
Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 2003), pp. 921-935
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3557394
Page Count: 15
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Malevolent Traditions: Hostel Violence and the Procreational Geography of Apartheid
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Abstract

The extant literature about migrant worker hostel violence in South Africa in the early 1990s is critiqued in this article from a gendered perspective. Based on that critique, a feminist geographical framework is developed to examine hostel violence during South Africa's transition. By locating hostels and their residents within this geographical framework, referred to as the procreational geography of apartheid, it is argued that hostel violence evinces male hostel-dwellers' resistance to a perceived erosion of heteropatriarchal family power structures inside hostels and in far-flung rural homes. From this perspective, the post-1994-election hostels' internal political geographies are shown to reinscribe many of the heteropatriarchal claims to power negotiated under the conditions of apartheid.

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