n SA Crime Quarterly - Fighting for respect - violence, masculinity and legitimacy in the SAPS




This paper presents preliminary reflections1on station-level discourse and practice in relation to violence and authority in two police precincts. The data were gathered during the six months following the Marikana massacre. The response of police who were not present at the mine shooting was to instinctively defend criticism of their colleagues who were involved. The article presents information to suggest that many SAPS members believe the use of violent force in the performance of their duties is necessary to gain the respect of the communities they serve. The article considers this in relation to constructions of masculinity.


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