A Culture of Violence? Violence and Conflict in South African History, 1880-present: Context (HIH3032)
Violent conflict has been at the centre of modern South African history. The colonial state and apartheid regime both employed extensive violence against South Africa’s non-white populations. Over time, the toxic combination of structural violence, in the form of material deprivation and poverty, and physical violence, perpetrated by the police and security forces, encouraged counter-violence against the state and within the family, home, and community. This module traces the history of violence in South Africa from the late 19th century to the present, exploring changes and continuities in patterns of political violence, crime, rape and domestic abuse, and gang conflict through the apartheid era and beyond. It focuses not just on physical violence, but also on the structural, symbolic, and everyday violence which has plagued South African society, and encourages you to see how these forms of violence interact to form a wider “culture of violence”.