Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Shooting at Uitenhage, South Africa, 1985: The Context and Interpretation of Violence

Robert J. Thornton
American Ethnologist
Vol. 17, No. 2 (May, 1990), pp. 217-236
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/645077
Page Count: 20
  • Get Access
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($15.00)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Shooting at Uitenhage, South Africa, 1985: The Context and Interpretation of Violence
Preview not available

Abstract

This article examines the fatal shooting by the South African Police of 20 people among a small crowd in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It explores some cultural characteristics of violence as a social process and social form. In this incident, the intentions of the actors were not simply confrontational, yet the event had the shape of other "classic" confrontations in South African history. Since direct political chains of command were not functioning at the time, explanation is sought in terms of the actors' cultural representations of "community," "self," and "the state," rather than in terms of instrumental action within a formal political system. Here, social power is presented as the ability to impose an interpretation among competing interpretations after the occurrence of violence, rather than as the ability to cause violence as the instrument of policy or as the intended consequence of intentional social action. [South African politics, violence, explanation in the social sciences, political culture, cultural representations, conflict]

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
217
    217
  • Thumbnail: Page 
218
    218
  • Thumbnail: Page 
219
    219
  • Thumbnail: Page 
220
    220
  • Thumbnail: Page 
221
    221
  • Thumbnail: Page 
222
    222
  • Thumbnail: Page 
223
    223
  • Thumbnail: Page 
224
    224
  • Thumbnail: Page 
225
    225
  • Thumbnail: Page 
226
    226
  • Thumbnail: Page 
227
    227
  • Thumbnail: Page 
228
    228
  • Thumbnail: Page 
229
    229
  • Thumbnail: Page 
230
    230
  • Thumbnail: Page 
231
    231
  • Thumbnail: Page 
232
    232
  • Thumbnail: Page 
233
    233
  • Thumbnail: Page 
234
    234
  • Thumbnail: Page 
235
    235
  • Thumbnail: Page 
236
    236