Go Home or Die Here

Violence, Xenophobia and the Reinventi¬on of Difference in South Africa

Eric Worby, Shireen Hassim & Tawana Kupe



The xenophobic attacks that started in Alexandra, Johannesburg in May 2008 before quickly spreading around the country caused an outcry across the world and raised many fundamental questions: Of what profound social malaise is xenophobia—and the violence that it inspires—a symptom? Have our economic and political choices created new forms of exclusion that fuel anger and distrust? What consequences does the emergence of xenophobia hold for the idea of an equal, non-racial society as symbolised by a democratic South Africa?


It is a useful book, better than the myriad talk shops that followed the senseless violence … if this column rated books, this one would get a 9 out of 10. — Don Makatile, The Sowetan


Eric Worby is Director, Humanities Graduate Centre and Professor of Anthropology at Wits University.

Shireen Hassim is a professor in political studies at the University of the Witwatersrand and a widely published author in the field of gender politics in South Africa.

Professor Tawana Kupe is an Associate Professor of Media Studies and the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Advancement, HR and Transformation at Wits University.