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South African Journal of Education

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The Cape Times’s portrayal of school violence

Corene de Wet

Abstract


This study explores the Cape Times’s portrayal of school violence in the Western Cape (WC), South Africa, reporting on findings from a qualitative content analysis of 41 news articles retrieved from the SA Media database. The findings shed light on the victims and their victimisation, the perpetrators, as well as the context of the violence, identifying gangsterism, as well as school administrative and community factors as the reasons for violence in WC schools. It is argued that school violence and gangsterism are inextricably linked to the Cape Flats in particular, and that the interaction of forms of inequality and oppression such as racism, class privilege and gender oppression are structural root causes for school violence in this area of the WC. The study highlights the negative consequences of school violence on teaching and learning and on the economy. It is concluded that even if the Cape Times paints an exaggerated and atypical picture of violence in the gang-riddled parts of the WC, the detrimental effects thereof on the regions cannot be denied. The study therefore recommends a holistic approach to addressing the structural root causes of school violence where it takes place in the WC.

Keywords: Cape Flats; Cape Times; content analysis; education; gangsterism, South Africa




http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n2a1231
AJOL African Journals Online