Behind the mask: getting to grips with crime and violence in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Monograph (Book)
TITLE EDITOR(S): A.B.Emmett, A.Butchart
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Web link:
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 1815

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To come to terms with crime and violence in South Africa, we must get behind the masks of both the criminal and society itself - the hidden social processes that give rise to crime and violence. We must be proactive to prevent crime and violence before it occurs. Crime is embedded in the social structure, in the disintegration of families and communities, in the breakdown of authority and social trust, and in inequalities that breed hostility and disempowerment. These are linked to recent developments in the field of social capital, and to links between violence, economic inequality and the breakdown of social cohesion. This book presents a number of strategic case studies of crime and injury prevention projects in South Africa, including community responses to crime. From these and recent local and international research findings, a range of strategic principles relating to crime and violence prevention are drawn, and a model developed to design integrated crime and injury prevention strategies in South Africa. By applying the methods and insights of the public health approach, Behind the Mask argues for a radical reconceptualisation of crime and crime prevention that challenges some of our most firmly held beliefs and preconceptions.