To be a somebody: Probing roots of community in District Six

  • Don Pinnock Centre of Criminology, UCT Chrysalis Academy, Cape Town
Keywords: social cohesion, District Six, South Africa


The term community is a moving target, widely used and often misused in defining a group of people in a particular area or with similar cultural practices. In Cape Town the sense of a loss of community is precisely what residents of an area known as District Six mourn following their eviction and its destruction in the 1970s in terms of the racial Group Areas Act. What was it they perceived they had? And what did they lose following their removal to the Cape Flats? In asking these questions it’s possible to get a clearer understanding of the way in which multiple perceptions and relationships stitch together a social cohesiveness which undergirds the notion of community. And what happens when it’s lost.


  • Abstract 492
  • PDF 199
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