For Your Own Good: Paternalism and Patriarchy in Urban Namibia

John Alexander Pysklywec


Using the case of the informal settlement of Havana 6, Namibia, I argue that apartheid in Namibia created a highly paternalistic and patriarchal state that racially divided the urban landscape. This state structure continues to operate through the marginalization of racialized lower classes. This is achieved through the state rhetoric policies coupled with a public discourse that constructs certain groups of people as dirty and incapable of comprehending what is ‘best for them’. I demonstrate how apartheid policies have entrenched systematic discrimination against poor, non-white citizens and how the language and actions of municipal authorities is used to place thousands of people in a state of contested precarious existence.

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University of Victoria