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Street Life under a RoofYouth Homelessness in South Africa$
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Emily Margaretten

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039607

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039607.001.0001

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Standing (K)in

Standing (K)in

(p.43) 2 Standing (K)in
Street Life under a Roof

Emily Margaretten

University of Illinois Press

This chapter draws on an analytical framework of “relatedness” to illustrate the everyday attachments—the kinships, friendships, and sexual partnerships—of the Point Place youth. To convey the fluidity of these relationships, the chapter refers to the idiom of ukuma, which in isiZulu means “to stand.” The youth's various enactments of ukuma speak to the hierarchies of urban survival as well as to the commensalities. The chapter reveals the practices of solidarity that maintain the Point Place youth on a day-to-day basis. With ukuma at the forefront of its investigations, it shows how the youth negotiate their standing in society precisely through their relationships with one another.

Keywords:   relatedness, Point Place youth, kinships, friendships, sexual partnerships, ukuma, urban survival, solidarity

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