Advertisement

Enchanted Suburbanism: Fantasy, Fear and Suburbia in Johannesburg

  • Obvious Katsaura
Chapter
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)

Abstract

This chapter develops the concept of enchanted suburbanism to interpret how fantasy, fear, desire, religion and ritual combine to (re-)configure the politics of life in and beyond Johannesburg’s suburbia. The chapter analyses the emplacement and enclosure of black and white middle classes within suburban areas of Johannesburg by unpacking how this is a function of fear, fantasy and desire. In this case, the chapter points to the idolization and commoditization of ‘suburbia’ as a symbol of socio-economic mobility, taste and security. Yet, suburbia paradoxically represents heightened risk as a marked symbol of wealth and of potential loot for desiring criminals. Fear, therefore, becomes the defining force of life in the suburb, determining its architecture, social rhythm and, in general, its aura. It assumes an omnipotence that to some extent equals, parallels or invites religion. In the context of the ‘riskization’ of suburbia, it is logical for some, if not many, suburbanites to retreat into the world of religion, ritual and the routine as a coping mechanism, if not a symptom of defeatism.

Keywords

Security Guard Gated Community South African City White Middle Class Edge City 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bauman, Zygmunt. 2004. Work, Consumerism, and the New Poor. London: McGraw-Hill Education.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 2013. Consuming Life. London: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  3. Bénit-Gbaffou, Claire. 2008. Unbundled Security Services and Urban Fragmentation in Post-apartheid Johannesburg. Geoforum 39(6): 933–1950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blakely, Edward J., and Mary G. Snyder. 1997. Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1999. Site Effects. In The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society, ed. P. Bourdieu, and G. Balazs, 607–626. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Breetzke, Gregory D., and Ellen G. Cohn. 2013. Burglary in Gated Communities: An Empirical Analysis using Routine Activities Theory. International Criminal Justice Review 23(1): 56–74.Google Scholar
  7. Buck-Morss, Susan. 2002. Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West. Massachusetts: MIT press.Google Scholar
  8. Census. 2011. Sub-place ‘Bedfordview’. Accessed 22 February 2016. http://census2011.adrianfrith.com/place/797008019; Sub-place ‘Sandhurst’. Accessed 22 February 2016. http://census2011.adrianfrith.com/place/798013057
  9. Chapman, Thomas P. 2015. Spatial Justice and the Western Areas of Johannesburg. African Studies 74(1): 76–97.Google Scholar
  10. Crankshaw, Owen. 2008. Race, Space and the Post-fordist Spatial Order of Johannesburg. Urban Studies 45(8): 1692–1711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cullen, Julie B., and Steven D. Levitt. 1999. Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities. Review of Economics and Statistics 81(2): 159–169.Google Scholar
  12. Davis, Mike. 1998. Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster. New York: Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
  13. Deleuze, Gilles, and Guattari, Felix. 1983. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  14. Duarte, Fábio, Rodrigo Firmino, and Andrei Crestani. 2014. Urban Phantasmagorias, Cinema and the Immanent Future of Cities. Space and Culture: 1–11.Google Scholar
  15. Ellin, Nan. 2001. Thresholds of Fear: Embracing the Urban Shadow. Urban Studies 38(5–6): 869–883.Google Scholar
  16. Evans, Sally. 2005. Krejcir’s Shadow Lurks Over Gemballa’s Murder Trial. Mail & Guardian, 24 September 2015.Google Scholar
  17. Fanon, Frantz. 1963. The Wretched of the Earth. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  18. Fava, Sylvia F. 1956. Suburbanism as a Way of Life. American Sociological Review 21(1): 34–37.Google Scholar
  19. Judin, Hilton. 2008. Unsettling Johannesburg: The Country in the City. In Other Cities, Other Worlds: Urban Imaginaries in a Globalising Age, ed. A. Huyssens, 121–146. London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Katsaura, Obvious. 2015a. Violence and the Enchantment of Everyday Life: Preliminary Insights. In Community-based Urban Violence Prevention: Innovative Approaches in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Arab Region, ed. Mathey, Kosta., and Silvia, Matuk., 280–293. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2015b. Ethnopolitics, Fear and Safety in a Johannesburg Neighbourhood. In Community-based Urban Violence Prevention: Innovative Approaches in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Arab Region, ed. Mathey, Kosta., and Silvia, Matuk., 42–61. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.Google Scholar
  22. Landman, Karina. 2004. Gated Communities in South Africa: The Challenge for Spatial Planning and Land Use Management. Town Planning Review 75(2): 151–172.Google Scholar
  23. Le Goix, Renaud. 2005. Gated Communities: Sprawl and Social Segregation in Southern California. Housing Studies 20(2): 323–343.Google Scholar
  24. Lemanski, Charlotte. 2004. A New Apartheid? The Spatial Implications of Fear of Crime in Cape Town, South Africa. Environment and Urbanization 16(2): 101–112.Google Scholar
  25. Mabin, Alan. 2005. Suburbanisation, Segregation, and Government of Territorial Transformations. Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa 57(1): 41–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. ———. 2007. Johannesburg—An Unlikely Global City. ZUNIA Knowledge Exchange.Google Scholar
  27. Mabin, Alan, Siân, Butcher, and Robin Bloch. 2013. Peripheries, Suburbanisms and Change in Sub-Saharan African Cities. Social Dynamics 39(2): 167–190.Google Scholar
  28. Malinowski, Bronislaw. 1955. Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  29. Mbembé, Achille. 2004. Aesthetics of Superfluity. Public Culture 16(3): 373–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mbembé, Achille, and Sarah Nuttall. 2004. Writing the World from an African Metropolis. Public Culture 16(3): 347–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Muhammad, Khalil. G. 2010. The Condemnation of Blackness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. ———. 2011. Where Did All the White Criminals Go?: Reconfiguring Race and Crime on the Road to Mass Incarceration. Souls 13(1): 72–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Myers, Garth A. 2011. African Cities: Alternative Visions of Urban Theory and Practice. London: Zed Books Limited.Google Scholar
  34. Nevin, Alice. 2014. Instant Mutuality: The Development of Maboneng in Inner-city Johannesburg. Anthropology Southern Africa 37(3–4): 187–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nyamnjoh, Francis B. 2012. Blinded by Sight: Divining the Future of Anthropology in Africa. Africa Spectrum, 63–92.Google Scholar
  36. Parnell, Susan. 2002. Winning the Battles But Losing the War: The Racial Segregation of Johannesburg under the Natives (Urban Areas) Act of 1923. Journal of Historical Geography 28(2): 258–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Simone, AbdouMaliq. 2010. City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements at the Crossroads. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Skade, Thandi. 2015. SA’s “Black Diamonds” Riddled with Debt. Destiny, May 22.Google Scholar
  39. Soja, Edward. 2000. Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  40. Sparks, Richard., Evi Girling, and Ian Loader. 2001. Fear and Everyday Urban Lives. Urban Studies 38(5–6): 885–898.Google Scholar
  41. Tomlison, Richard., Robert Beauregard., Lindsay Bremner., and Xolela Mangcu. 2003. The Postapartheid Struggle for an Integrated Johannesburg. In Emerging Johannesburg: Perspectives on the Postapartheid City, ed. Richard, Tomlison., Robert, Beauregard., Lindsay, Bremner., and Xolela, Mangcu. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Tulumello, Simone. 2015. From “Spaces of Fear” to “Fearscapes”: Mapping for Re-framing Theories about the Spatialization of Fear in Urban Space. Space and Culture 18(3): 257–272.Google Scholar
  43. Weiss, Brad. 2002. Thug Realism: Inhabiting Fantasy in Urban Tanzania. Cultural Anthropology 17(1): 93–124.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Obvious Katsaura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Society Work and Development Institute (SWOP)University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations