Boys' narratives of violence in a technical high school in Chatsworth, Durban.
This thesis is an analysis of the way a small number of grade 12 boys understand violence and how they describe and locate it in the narratives of their own masculinity. Semi-structured interviews with grade 12 boys attending a Technical School in Chatsworth were conducted and analysed in order to establish how these boys relate to violence in their lives and respond to their experiences of violence at home and in school. The school learner population consists of African, Coloured and Indian learners. The current racial composition of the learner population is as follows: 18 % - African, 8% - Coloured and 74% Indian. The entire staff is Indian and the majority are male. This study focuses particularly on physical violence at home and in school. The research also examines what the boys say about violence against the girls at the school. The major findings from the boys' narratives of violence at home are that the perpetrators of physical violence at home were the men. The physical violence experienced by the boys at school among peers has racial overtones. The Indian boys are the main perpetrators of violence and use violence to intimidate, threaten and dominate other boys in school. The African and Coloured boys although capable of violence seem to construct their masculinity in non-violent ways. Teachers are complicit in the enactment of physical violence in school. Physical violence against girls in school is non-existent, however girls are verbally harassed and abused. This study finds that race and ethnicity influences the manner in which masculine identities are constructed in school and that violence is intertwined into the construction of the boys' masculinities. This study will hopefully raise awareness of the importance of including a focus on masculinities in violence intervention strategies.