"We are not fully humans, we are half-humans” : the study of how Nhlalakahle informal residents construct their own-group infrahumanization.
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Informal settlements are sites of oppression where residents yearn for social, political and economic change. Informal residents live under harsh conditions, deprived of basic resources including water, electricity, proper dumping sites and sanitary toilets. Such deprivation makes them vulnerable to discrimination and mistreatment by formal residents, and this is perceived in a form of infra-humanization. Infra-humanization between out-groups and in-groups has been explored, but few studies focus on own-group dehumanization. This study aimed to explore intergroup relations between informal residents with formal residents as their neighbors in adjacent suburbs and how this manifest in own-group infra-humanization. To accomplish this, eleven interviews were conducted with residents of the Nhlalakahle informal settlement situated in Northdale, Pietermaritzburg. The results show that informal residents construct themselves as infra-humanized by their formal neighbors however; they preserve their human worth and dignity through resistance.