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The Role of Nationality, Ethnicity and Xenophobia in the (Re)construction of Exclusionary Identities

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Chapter Summary

The dwellers spoke extensively about their experiences of exclusion on the basis of nationality, and xenophobia was a frequent emphasis in their accounts of the tension between them and the members. This chapter examines how the dwellers perceived, firstly, South Africans in general and the members in particular and, secondly, themselves in the context of the CMM: particularly how these perceptions became a collective narrative that affected the (re)construction of a resistance identity and were reflected in an exclusionary edge in the related call for humanity. National and ethnic identities surfaced as tools to negotiate the belonging together and the belonging in and ownership of the limited CMM space and the exclusion of the other. Justifications for excluding the other were found in 'their' perceived nature, the perceived difference between 'them' and 'us', and in the way 'they' treated 'us'.

Keywords: ethnic identities; humanity; nationality; South Africans; xenophobia



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