Reconsidering the 'other' : exploring perceptions of refugees in South Africa

 

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dc.contributor.author Breen, Duncan en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-04-20T11:11:43Z
dc.date.available 2016-04-20T11:11:43Z
dc.date.issued 2008 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Breen, D. 2008. Reconsidering the 'other' : exploring perceptions of refugees in South Africa. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19001
dc.description.abstract Refugees are generally perceived in very negative terms in South Africa. They are perceived as coming to South Africa to take advantage of the country's economy, of stealing jobs and using up scarce resources and of never intending to leave. Refugees are also conceptualised by some as being helpless and in need of direct intervention. This thesis considers the question 'How accurate are the general preconceptions about refugees in South Africa?' utilising qualitative data from six respondents collected over a two month period in 2007 in addition to evidence from working in the field prior to commencing this study. This thesis presents evidence that the decision to settle in South Africa is the result of complex processes influenced by a number of factors aside from economic considerations. The myth that refugees are helpless and needy is tackled with evidence illustrating the resourcefulness and resilience of the six respondents on arrival in Cape Town. The perception of refugees using up resources and stealing jobs from South Africans is challenged by evidence that refugees struggle to legalise their status and get little assistance from Non-Governmental Organisations. As a result, refugees create opportunities for themselves relying on networking and chance encounters. Finally, the perception that refugees never intend to leave South Africa is challenged by evidence of the complexities of returning 'home' where security is uncertain. Having considered the evidence, the thesis concludes that the general preconceptions about refugees in South Africa are in fact false. Includes references (pages 76-82). en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Development Studies en_ZA
dc.title Reconsidering the 'other' : exploring perceptions of refugees in South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Social Development en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MPhil en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Breen, D. (2008). <i>Reconsidering the 'other' : exploring perceptions of refugees in South Africa</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Social Development. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19001 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Breen, Duncan. <i>"Reconsidering the 'other' : exploring perceptions of refugees in South Africa."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Social Development, 2008. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19001 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Breen D. Reconsidering the 'other' : exploring perceptions of refugees in South Africa. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Social Development, 2008 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19001 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Breen, Duncan AB - Refugees are generally perceived in very negative terms in South Africa. They are perceived as coming to South Africa to take advantage of the country's economy, of stealing jobs and using up scarce resources and of never intending to leave. Refugees are also conceptualised by some as being helpless and in need of direct intervention. This thesis considers the question 'How accurate are the general preconceptions about refugees in South Africa?' utilising qualitative data from six respondents collected over a two month period in 2007 in addition to evidence from working in the field prior to commencing this study. This thesis presents evidence that the decision to settle in South Africa is the result of complex processes influenced by a number of factors aside from economic considerations. The myth that refugees are helpless and needy is tackled with evidence illustrating the resourcefulness and resilience of the six respondents on arrival in Cape Town. The perception of refugees using up resources and stealing jobs from South Africans is challenged by evidence that refugees struggle to legalise their status and get little assistance from Non-Governmental Organisations. As a result, refugees create opportunities for themselves relying on networking and chance encounters. Finally, the perception that refugees never intend to leave South Africa is challenged by evidence of the complexities of returning 'home' where security is uncertain. Having considered the evidence, the thesis concludes that the general preconceptions about refugees in South Africa are in fact false. Includes references (pages 76-82). DA - 2008 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2008 T1 - Reconsidering the 'other' : exploring perceptions of refugees in South Africa TI - Reconsidering the 'other' : exploring perceptions of refugees in South Africa UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19001 ER - en_ZA


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