ENCOUNTERING RECENT AFRICAN MIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS TO SOUTH AFRICA: TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF RELIGION AND CULTURE IN THE RECEPTION OF RECENT AFRICAN MIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS TO SOUTH AFRICA
AbstractA very public debate and some street confrontations show that many South Africans find it difficult to come to terms with the idea that Africans from outside South Africa live and work in South Africa. Contrary to a dominant discourse using religion and culture as resources for the positing of unity, recognition and reconciliation, xenophobia seems to have become part of the South African landscape. However, the reasons for the xenophobia are more complex than expected. Most of the negative perceptions of South Africans about foreign Africans in South Africa have proved to be false. The possibility of religious and cultural constructions mediating the xenophobia is explored. It is argued that an entry into the problem through religion and culture should contribute to a better understanding of the problem, but hat too little empirical work has been done in this respect to date.
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