Psycho-Social Borders and Imagining the South African Female ‘Other’

  • Samantha van Schalkwyk


The author begins this chapter with context about xenophobic violence in South Africa and the psychological implications of the position ‘other’ for African foreign nationals living in the country. Focus is placed on the women’s stories of living in South Africa. The central theme in this chapter is their narrative imaginings of the sexual world of black South African women—symbolic female ‘others’—which shed important insight into the ways in which these migrant women experience patriarchal oppression of female sexuality in post-apartheid South Africa rife with xenophobia, racism, and deep-seated poverty. The author argues that the third central motif of the women’s collective narratives—South African women as faulty feminine subjects—served as a narrative resource whereby the women narratively projected negative aspects of their female sexuality (residues of gendered oppression) onto the image of black South African women. In doing so, they constructed positive selves related to worth and belonging in their social world.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha van Schalkwyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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