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Good times in block seven: A Human ecological approach

Francis, Tracey-Joy (2015) Good times in block seven: A Human ecological approach. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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We have little control over the forces that shape us, yet they play a massive role determining our position in the social structure. Race, socio-economic status, gender and other social categories and processes are powerful forces that work together and shape understandings of the world, including those who reside within Block Seven, a gated community in Durban, South Africa. Although it may look like a standard state project housing, Block Seven is far from the average housing complex. Block Seven into two groups: the Corner Members and the Externals. The sub-culture of the Corner does not align with that of the Externals and this has driven a wedge between the two groups forcing them into a state of social conflict. It will be suggested that people’s lifestyles are a response to their surroundings is still relevant to explain contemporary social behaviour such as that which takes place at the Block. There is, however, one important caveat: if ‘social disorganization’ is understood analytically as ‘social complexity’ (Hannerz, 1992), then there need not be any assumption as to whether society is objectively in a state of order or disorder, which is a matter of perspective. A total of seven in-depth interviews were conducted to gather a rich and detailed picture of life in Block Seven. Drawing on theory of human ecology and social disorganization this thesis will argue that disorganization and organization are relative to the cultural context and cognitive landscape, in which individuals and communities exist.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Supervisor: Jennings, Mark and Northcote, Jeremy
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