Original Articles

Exploring Perceptions of Xenophobia in a Sample of South African Employees

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 22, issue 4, 2012 , pages: 609–615
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2012.10820575
Author(s): Elzabé CoetzeeUniversity of South Africa, South Africa


This brief report aimed to explore the perceptions of xenophobia within a sample of South African employees. Data on participants' views regarding xenophobia, related xenophobic violence and causes were collected from 127 respondents (males=43%, females=57%, with the majority of respondents being Afrikaans speaking=53% and white=68.5%). Responses were thematically analysed. Seventy-four percent of respondents did not approve of xenophobic behaviour. Only twenty percent of the respondents empathised with South Africans with xenophobia. Six percent of the respondents were indifferent to xenophobia. Participants considered having xenophobia to be related to unemployment, poverty, poor governance, a lack of education and involvement in crime.

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