Youth Violence in South Africa
The Impact of Political Transition
This chapter analyzes ongoing youth conflict in terms of the situations of fragmentation and disempowerment in apartheid South Africa. It explains that South Africa, like other postcolonial societies, is a fertile context for youth conflict and violence, not solely because of poverty — although societies taken and then abandoned by colonizers are overwhelmingly poor — but also because of social, political, cultural, and economic upheaval that lead many young people into situations of conflict. Drawing on clinical work with young people in group work by the Sinani Programme for Survivors of Violence, the chapter offers insights by interweaving history, statistics, and the personal stories of violence and tragedy, which the author says are most important for understanding the complexity of youth conflict.
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