SUBJECTIVITIES OF SURVIVAL: CONCEPTUALISING JUST RESPONSES TO DISPLACEMENT, CROSS-BORDER MIGRATION AND STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA

Dorothee Hölscher

Abstract


This 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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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15270/52-1-479

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ISSN 2312-7198  (online) ; ISSN 0037-8054 (print)


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