Frustration-Aggression, Afrophobia and the Psycho-Social Consequences of Corruption in South Africa

Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


This chapter examines the causes of Afrophobia in South Africa. It argues that the occurrences of Afrophobia in South Africa can be understood as a direct consequence of corruption. South Africa is characterized by economic inequality, which represents a direct consequence of capitalist model of economic development (the poor get poorer and the rich get richer). The chapter identifies corruption as a factor that exacerbates inequality in the country and argues that a psycho-social effect of corruption – when scarce resources are abused and appropriated for the benefit of a few at the expense of the majority – engenders frustration amongst the masses. The frustration is then translated into aggression and the ‘foreigners’, becomes the subject of a misplaced hostility. Central to the frustration-aggression theory is the supposition that all acts of aggression are a result of previous and growing frustration; and all frustration leads to some form of aggression. Bureaucratic malfeasance, the increasing gap between the poor and the rich as a result of corruption is emphasized as a primal cause of frustration and this leads to animosity towards foreign nationals, especially those from other African countries. It concludes that Afrophobia is s direct consequence of economic inequalities in South Africa.


Afrophobia Corruption Inequality frustration-aggression theory South Africa 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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