{September 14, 2009}   Blog entry #4


The major research question is ‘What is the relationship between racism and xenophobia in South Africa?’. My key terms are xenophobia and racism, even though my major concern is on xenophobia. Racism maybe defined as the hatred of one person by another and the belief that this person is less human because of skin color, language, customs, origion of birth. Xenophobia is a deep dislike for foreigners., my curiosity is that South Africa is a  developing country that is diverse in cultures, languages and  religious belief. At present it has 11 official languages. Since Apartheid fell in 1994 it has struggled with the coonsequences of racism and another form of discrimination has ventured into existance, enduring the difference of nationality. It interests me because as a foreigner, what aspects does it have if I am to encounter it and is there a leniency for gender?


Xenophobia grew from racism. In the apartheid system south africans were opressed for a long time and got accustomed to mentality of social stratification and race. Which determined the ability of an individual to suceed and the indiffernce to sufferers than others especially on nationality.

Foreigners were the targetsto xenophobia. Majority of foreigners who were attacked were africans who were black. Discrimination at black on black. If the individual was of different color the likelihood of being attacked were slim. Their assumption would have been, if your white you probably an afrikaaner or english speaker who came from a high class level. The majority of the whites were tourists who would not linger for a long time.

Xenophobia was caused by economic factors such as high unemployment rate, limited resources such as housing, education opportunities and basic necessities. Foreigners were willing to work for minimum wage but south africans wanted the wage to be increased. For companies to  cut costs they prefered to hire foreigners and as they worked diligently and knew where they came form was far much worse. Most of them could only afford cheap housing, made out of plastics, cardboard as there was no need for rent  payment. This allowed for them to  be protected from the weather conditions and a place to sleep. Other foreigners were assylum seekers and university students.  Majority of the schools in  South Africa are owned by state but the majority of universities are private owned. They are expensive and for the locals to send their children to universities would it would be debatable as they would need to apply for loans and to do that it would need some tangible property as liability if in failure to pay it back. Therefore  enrollment  of foreigners who could afford it was a second option. In that decision it turned out more income would be obtained and they could pay for it. Racism affects the economy through  business relations with other countries due to the fear of employess being caught up in the mix and reducing the quality of work due to psychological issues that may arise. Racism is skin deep because  color and natural hatred comes naturally and probably genetic and where as xenophobia is lingustix deep in the sense that each language is developed from a culture.  In each culture has customs meaning as long as the recepient can’t respond  with at least one of the official languages they would be categorized as a seeker and intimidator therefore instilling fear on the unknown capabilities of a stranger. Inorder to set a stand they would have to put across ground rules so  as to not show  instibility.

Specific Research questions to be answered

Who does rascism and xenophobia affect the most? Who is being targeted?

How is the economy affected by racism and xenophobia?

Why is the targeting of xenophobia be black  africans and yet racism doesnt cater to color?

How did the home affairs of south afirca respond to xenophobia when it happend?

What measures were taken to protect foreigners and as well as racism?

What is reverse racism and how does it increase crime rate?


What has been researched on towards this topic?

Research on human rights of racism xenophobia 

Growth of xenophobian and rasism in a decade after apartheid . Mine looks at the past 5years on  and how has the social group changed?

The conference talks made by home affairs on xenophobia

World conference against racism and xenophobia

The contribution to the research is analysis of data is viewing the topic from an individual who was from one of the victimized countries. My analysis would be from present time and how much effect did the laws passed down by the congress differ from the impact it had and hoped to have. If  foreigners are still treated the same way after passing the law of removing the visa requirements  for zimbabweans to enter their country. If the violent attacks and the number of immigrants increase after such an inhuman act.



Analysis of data- use documents about racism and the other on xenophobia and then compare them on their similarities and differnces. Selection of documents tha address xenophobia as extreme racism. Compare violent articles with images of both to see if the pictures have thousand words .

The use of statistical data before xenophobia , during and after xenophobia to compare an d contrast immigration percentages hich would tell us if the foreigners fled or stayed.

To do an interview and listen to peoples opinions on their take of xenophobia and racism. First of all I’ll ask them to define it, if they have the knowledge of its existance and whats their take on it.  To ask if they feel racism played a role in xenophobia if it did how. If they feel the governments of those countries affected by had a say to the humilitation of their people. It shows a barrier to the communicatin lines between the african countries and their way of leadership styles may have caused the high rate of concentrated foreigners in south africa. Racism may have to influence their expression to their emotions as they may not seem to be content about.

possible publication sites






Atsushi Iida says:

Hi Buhle,

Why don’t you focus on xenophobia for your study? I remember that you will take the racism and xenephobia as the same mening (or similar way), but it’s not exactly the same, I guess. In your study, you had better focus on xenophobia in your research paper. It’s going to be a huge topic and takes more time if you handle these two big terms, racism and xenophobia. Again, this is a 15 page paper and you should conduct research, which I mean you must collect and analyze data and ultimately you make a generalization about your topic. This paper is not a literature-based study.

From this viewpint, your fourth question may be interesting: How did the home affairs of south afirca respond to xenophobia when it happend? However, this question seems to be answerable by reading previous studies in journal artiles. Instead, it would work better to ask:
How has the home affairs of South Africa responded to xenophobia since it appeared?

Or other possible questions are:
1. In what ways does xenephobia affect the life in South Africa?
2. What is the perception of xenephobia for South Africans?
3. What (positive or)negative impacts does xenophobia have on economy in South Africa?

These are more specific and concrete questions than you mentioned above. However, these are just an example so that you don’t have to take them. Do these make sense to you??

If you have any question, please let me know.


masilelabuhlebenkosinydq says:

I now understand what you mean and seems a lot better to only concentrate on xenophobia as this is only my first paper and a learning process. thank you….

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