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Ballard, Richard (2002) Desegregating Minds: White Identities and Urban Change in the new South Africa. PhD Thesis, University of Wales, Swansea Geography Department: 1-304.

This thesis examines perceptions of social difference by white residents of South African cities in general, and Durban in particular, with regard to urban racial desegregation. Under apartheid, segregated cities were created by a white hegemony that was driven by what can be called a segregationist mindset, a belief in the existence of discrete racial groupings, and the importance of keeping such groups apart. As cities have undergone a process of desegregation over the last two decades, the people who believed in the appropriateness of racial segregation have been thrown into crisis. This crisis revolves around the mismatch between old beliefs about the best way to plan and manage an ordered, modern city with homogenous zones created through the use of strong boundaries, and contemporary realities of mixing, free transgression across boundaries, creating for some the impression of disorder. This thesis concentrates on white responses to three forms of desegregation: the arrival of street traders in the CBD, the arrival of squatters alongside suburbs, and the arrival of non-white middle class groups in suburbs. Discourse analysis of interviews with residents and newspaper material explores the way in which segregationist mindsets have adapted to the new non-racial atmosphere, where separation is no longer justifiable on racial grounds. In an attempt to avoid the impasse that usually results from debates around the relative importance of race and class, this discussion argues that the use of both race and class by whites has to be understood within the broader attempts by white people to achieve certain senses of themselves through the manipulation of identity and space.

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