Monday, May 7, 2007

Richard Ballard

Richard Ballard is a senior research fellow at the School of Development Studies, UKZN. His research interests are on urban desegregation, whiteness, 'race', refugees, social movements, local democracy and the politics of housing. He has recently co-edited a book called Voices of Protest: Social Movements in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2006, UKZN Press). He was born in Durban and likes it.

In his chapter, Defending Animals; Defending Suburbs; Defending Civilisation, Richard argues that black suburbanites have become the object of a post-apartheid moral panic, motivated by the fears of white neighbours. This fear is centered not so much on crime but on animal killings. Richard says that black neighbours are constructed as the uncivilised Other; these panics are fuelled by the difficulties some whites experience ‘coming to terms with the prospect of sharing their neighbourhoods with previously excluded groups.’ He also points out, however, that not all whites react in the same way to these killings. For some, ‘identity construction is no longer based on the rejection and exclusion of ‘uncivilised’ people but rather on a sense of self which is able to accommodate co-existence with diversity.’

Ballard, Richard. 'Defending Animals; Defending Suburbs; Defending Civilisation', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 250-256.