Gangs: Spatialities and Socialities in South Africa

Authors

  • Godfrey Maringira Sol Plaatje University, Social Anthropology, School of Humanities

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25159/2663-6689/8336

Keywords:

gangs, crime, violence, identity, masculinity

Abstract

The “making” of gang relationships has remained at the periphery of research, yet it is critical in understanding the continuity and sustainability of gangsterism in different contexts. This paper examines the ways in which young men involved in gang violence forge and sustain their relationships in the streets of a black township in South Africa. I argue that the “making” of gang relationships is never easy; rather, it is characterised by violence within and outside gang membership. The article asserts that, within gangs, violence is a technique which sustains their relationships, as it acts as a source of social and emotional support—especially in a context characterised by fractured families as well as social and economic marginalisation. The paper draws from an ethnography of walking the township streets, being in gang streets, talking to gang members, engaging with and observing young men involved in gang violence.

Author Biography

Godfrey Maringira , Sol Plaatje University, Social Anthropology, School of Humanities

Godfrey Maringira is an associate professor of anthropology at Sol Plaatje University in South Africa. His main areas of research include armed violence in Africa, soldiers and politics in Africa, and post army life in Africa.

Published

2021-02-23

How to Cite

Maringira , Godfrey. 2021. “Gangs: Spatialities and Socialities in South Africa”. Politeia 39 (2):17 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2663-6689/8336.

Issue

Section

Articles
Received 2020-08-25
Accepted 2021-01-21
Published 2021-02-23