FISH and CUBES Seminar 13 May 2015 – 15:00 – “Xenophobia among post-apartheid urban youth” by J. Bouyat


Xenophobia among post-apartheid urban youth :

voices of teenagers in local schools of Yeoville, Orlando East and Alexandra

Jeanne Bouyat

(Sciences Po Paris)

South Africa is currently overwhelmed by the most violent wave of xenophobic attacks since May 2008. How is xenophobia (mis)understood by the youth in a school context ? How do the teenagers talk or remain silent about xenophobia in class and with friends ? How does this vary according to learners’ profiles, the composition of the class or the immediate environment of the school ? How do institutions respond (or not) to the issue ? The preliminary findings of this comparative study between local schools of the inner city of Johannesburg and surrounding townships conducted in the context of xenophobic violences provide some answers to these questions. The voices of the youth and their teachers tell us about the discourses and interactions with “the other” within State’s most symbolic institutions of inclusivity: the post-apartheid schools. They help us to grasp the complex and widespread manifestations of xenophobia in urban South Africa beyond its violent outbreaks, to understand the structuration of xenophobic prejudices as well as identify socialization processes shaping youth’s attitudes towards foreign-ness in specific and contrasted local contexts.

Jeanne Bouyat is a Master student in Regional and Urban Strategy at the University of Sciences Po in Paris. She has spent one year at the University of Cape Town as an exchange student during her undergrads, and has become since then passionate about issues of social and political transformation in the country. She has been granted a PhD to continue her research into Education policy and Xenophobia in South Africa, with the support of the French Institute of South Africa.


Wednesday 13 May 2015, 15:00

Conference Room, 62 Juta Street, 1st floor, Braamfontein, Johannesburg




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