SUBJECTIVITIES OF SURVIVAL: CONCEPTUALISING JUST RESPONSES TO DISPLACEMENT, CROSS-BORDER MIGRATION AND STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA
AbstractThis article considers the implications for social work of displacement, migration and structural violence in urban South Africa. To this end, I explore the life stories of five cross-border migrants. I find that all five form part of South Africa’s larger pool of surplus populations but face additional, citizenship-based forms of exclusion. Even though generally self-reliant, all of them experienced cumulative agency constraints and felt vulnerable. Against this background, I propose that current, refugee-centred services should be expanded and that interventions should be carefully balanced to attend to structural issues, inter-group conflict and the range of vulnerabilities articulated by cross-border migrants.
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