Macquarie University
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Postcards from an urban otherwhere: glimpses of life in Johannesburg 2014

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posted on 2022-03-29, 02:28 authored by Robyn Lynn Gillot
This thesis examines the social praxis of middle-class whites in Johannesburg, examining the physical and perceptual consequences of the fortification of middle class suburbs. The thesis explores how heightened fear of crime has encouraged most middle class whites to secure their homes against strangers using physical and electronic barriers of control and surveillance. This withdrawal from public spaces has reduced opportunities for racial interaction and increased white fear of strangers. It is in this context that certain gentrification projects provide opportunities for city inhabitants' engagement with urban spaces and racial others, potentially contributing to the evolution of a non-racial, democratised society.


Table of Contents

I. The beginning -- II. Whitewashing? -- III. Fieldwork -- IV. Scaffolding -- V. Constructing apartheid -- VI. The changing face of urbanism in Johannesburg -- VII. The 'look' of apartheid -- VIII. The 'feel' of apartheid -- IX. Carceral landscape -- X. Modern laagers -- XI. Always watching, always guarding -- Xii. Perceptions of safety -- XIII. Why Braamfontein? -- XIV. The self-styled saviour of Braamfontein -- XV. Imagining the possibilities of Braamfontein -- XVI. The importance of perceptions -- XVII. Walking as an act of urban re-familiarisation -- XVIII. The rhythm of Braamfontein -- XIX. Born free -- xx. The anarchytect -- XXI. Marelize and Caroline -- XXII. Departure.


Bibliography: leaves 89-94 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Anthropology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Christopher Houston


Copyright Robyn Lynn Gillot 2014. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (96 leaves : $$ b colour illustrations)

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