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In Thought And Deed? Attitudes towards Anti-Immigrant Violence in South Africa

20 June 2017
12:30 - 13:30

A diversity of international migrants of international migrants call South Africa home. However, many migrants have come under threat. In recent years, a number of urban communities across the country have been affected by riots targeting foreign immigrants and shops owned by foreign nations. This has resulted in several deaths and the displacement of thousands. It has also raised concerns about both the marginalisation and precarity facing immigrants in the country as well as levels of cohesion and multicultural tolerance in South African society. The starting point for this seminar is a recognition that the anti-immigrant violence of recent years is part of a longer history of such violence in the country and highlights a strong undercurrent of popular opinion against migrants. Using new public opinion data from the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS), Dr. Steven Lawrence Gordon will explore the propensity of the adult public to take part in violence action against this vulnerable and marginalised segment of the South African population.
The seminar will coincide with the commemoration of World Refugee Day and will be presented by the Human Science Research Council.  At time when thousands of South African foreign-born residents live in fear each day, we believe that this is an appropriate moment to pose difficult questions about the nature of anti-immigrant prejudice. The hope is that this seminar will generate ideas for a wider programme of prejudice reduction.

Presenters: Dr Steven Lawrence Gordon , DGSD, HSRC | Chair: Mr Ben Roberts, DGSD, HSRC

Date: 20 June 2017 | Time:  12h30 – 13h30 | Venues: Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town 

Presentation is available for download below:

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein  as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Cape Town : HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street Cape Town, Cape Town. Contact: Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

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