Masculinity and Transition: Crisis or Confusion in South Africa?

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The participation of women in social, political and economic life in South Africa since the transition to democracy in 1994 has been growing. However, gender equality has not been attained and violence against women remains extremely high. This article interrogates why this is the case by focusing on masculinity and particularly violent masculinities. Through presenting the findings of primary research with men and women in South Africa, the article shows how improvements in gender justice are creating new insecurities for some women, particularly in terms of domestic violence. The article critiques responses to violent masculinities that centre on the 'crisis in masculinity' discourse and calls for a nuanced understanding of masculinities in transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
JournalJournal of Peacebuilding and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Oct 2010


  • gender
  • transition
  • violence
  • peacebuilding
  • South Africa


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