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Risk, anxiety and moral panic in South Africa
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A wide-ranging and interdisciplinary investigation of cultures of fear in South Africa, this book reveals how fear and its various features, particularly risk, anxiety and moral panic, manifest in contemporary media forms and the communities they serve, and how these are impacted by systems and histories of race, class, gender, space and identity. It foregrounds the significance of emotion as a sociopolitical force in South Africa as elsewhere, arguing that we need to take emotion seriously in order to properly account for the way in which feelings and experiences, and powerful narratives about them, impact on politics and daily life. Spanning a range of imagined communities and physical spaces, it investigates four disparate but deeply affective case studies: the far right myth of ‘white genocide’; so-called ‘Satanist’ murders of young women; an urban legend about township crime; and social theories about safety and goodness in the suburbs. The book is intimately interested in the way in which moral panics, mass fears and collective anxieties manifest in circumstances of higher risk, heightened insecurity, deep inequality and accelerated social change. It emphasises South Africa’s imbrication within globalised conditions of anxiety, and thus its fundamental hypermodernity, in contrast to the atavistic, sometimes dismissive portrayals of Africa that are common within global media and scholarship.

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In the wake of #MeToo in India and South Africa

Intimacy and Injury maps the travels of the global #MeToo movement in India and South Africa. Both countries have shared the infamy of being labelled the world’s ‘rape capitals’, with high levels of everyday gender-based and sexual violence. At the same time, they boast long histories of resisting such violence and its location in wider cultures of patriarchy, settler colonialism and class and caste privilege. Northern voices and experiences have dominated debates on #MeToo, which, while originating in the US, had considerable traction elsewhere, including in the global south. In India, #MeToo revitalised longstanding feminist struggles around sexual violence, offering new tactics and repertoires. In South Africa, it drew on new cultures of opposing sexual violence that developed online and in student protest. There were also marked differences in the ways in which #MeToo travelled in both countries, pointing to older histories of power, powerlessness and resistance. The book uses the #MeToo moment to track histories of feminist organising in both countries, while also revealing how newer strategies extended or limited these struggles. Intimacy and Injury is a timely mapping of a shifting political field around gender-based violence in the global south. In proposing comparative, interdisciplinary, ethnographically rich and analytically astute reflections on #MeToo, it provides new and potentially transformative directions to scholarly debates, which are rarely brought into conversation with one another. With contributors located in South Africa and India alone, this book builds transnational feminist knowledge and solidarity in and across the global south.

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Selective reproduction and neoliberal eugenics in South Africa and India
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This book analyses the world of selective reproduction – the politics of who gets to legitimately reproduce the future – by a cross-cultural analysis of three modes of ‘controlling’ birth: contraception, reproductive violence, and repro-genetic technologies. The premise is that as fertility rates decline worldwide, the fervour to control fertility, and fertile bodies, does not dissipate; what evolves is the preferred mode of control. Although new technologies, for instance those that assist conception and/or allow genetic selection, may appear to be the antithesis of violent versions of population control, the book demonstrates that both are part of the same continuum. Much as all population control policies target and vilify (Black) women for their over-fertility, and coerce/induce them into subjecting their bodies to state and medical surveillance, assisted reproductive technologies and repro-genetic technologies have a similar and stratified burden of blame and responsibility based on gender, race, class, and caste. The book includes contributions from two postcolonial nations – South Africa and India – where the history of colonialism and the economics of neoliberal markets allow for some parallel moments of selecting who gets to legitimately reproduce the future. The book provides a critical interdisciplinary and cutting-edge dialogue around the interconnected issues that shape reproductive politics in an ostensibly ‘post-population control’ era. The contributions range from gender studies, sociology, medical anthropology, politics, science and technology studies, to theology, public health, epidemiology and women’s health, with the aim of facilitating an interdisciplinary dialogue around the interconnected modes of controlling birth and practices of neo-eugenics.