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We live in fear, we feel very unsafe: Imagining and fearing rape in South Africa

Dosekun, Simidele (2007) We live in fear, we feel very unsafe: Imagining and fearing rape in South Africa. Agenda, 74. 89 - 99. ISSN 1013-0950

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This article explores the meanings of rape for 15 women at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, who claim to have not experienced rape. It is based upon qualitative interviews with these women and offers a discursive analysis of their talk. The article shows that the women tend to distance the actual occurrence and threat of rape. At the same time, they assume a natural vulnerability to rape with the result that they imagine and fear it as always possible in the course of their daily lives. The article reconstructs the ways in which the women's imagination and fear of rape adversely impacts upon their sense of safety, agency and belonging in South Africa today. Illustrating the power of discourses to shape both subjective and social realities, it concludes that feminist research and activism must pay attention to the discursive dimensions of the rape crisis in South Africa.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2007 Agenda Feminist Media
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 13:45
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2024 19:45

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