Racing, Classing, and Gendering School-related Violence in Three Johannesburg Secondary Schools
Lancaster, Illana Michelle
Spreen, Carol Anne
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The prevalence of school-related violence in the U.S.A., Canada, and the U.K. is well-documented. Yet, most of the literature on violence in schools tends to be quantitative in nature with a focus on surveys. Less common is qualitative research in the secondary school context exploring how learners experience violence. In recent years research on school-related violence in primary and secondary schools in the African context has been emerging. With its recent celebration of its thirteen-year anniversary marking the end of white minority rule and its subsequent rebirth as a democratic nation, South Africa offers an interesting case for evaluation. Given the legacy of apartheid and the endurance of inequality and inequities that exists today, it is important to understand the varied experiences of South African learners with violence. More needs to be known about the kinds of violence learners experience, the factors that contribute to the violences experienced, and the role the larger school communities play in school-related violence. Only when the experiences of learners are understood can effective policy be developed and implemented to address school-related violence. The purpose of this critical qualitative study is to explore how learners in three secondary school communities in the Johannesburg metropolitan area experience violence and how these experiences of violence are raced, classed, and gendered. This study offers a sociohistorical contextualization of violence in schools and explores the articulation points across the levels of structural-cultural, institutional, and interpersonal violence.