Rural gendered youth perceptions : food-security, capabilities, rights and freedoms : a case study of northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Floersch, Danielle Nevada.
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This case study is a documentation of localised gendered and youth perspectives regarding food-(in)security, capabilities, rights and freedom. This dissertation explores localised youth and gendered perceptions of food-security by applying Amartya Sen‟s capabilities approach. The research is situated within the village of Mboza, the peri-urban locale of Ndumo, and the town of Jozini, oriented within the Makhathini region of the Pongola floodplain of Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In this context, perceptions of capabilities, rights, and food-security are seemingly based on normative views of rights aligning with South Africa‟s constitutional first and second generations rights. Additionally, it is noted that perceptions and aspirations are impacted by socio-historical and economic dynamics that have resulted in segregated places and constrained opportunities. Practically and ideologically speaking, the state historically played a role in shaping these dynamics. Perceptions are further influenced by normalised capitalist ideals relating to consumption, socio-economic mobility, and success. The research explores whether post-apartheid South Africa‟s incorporation of a rightsbased approach to development has influenced expectations and thus affected perspectives on the roles of: the state, communities, and individuals; in securing the right to food. In this manner, perceptions of food, a primary need necessary for a quality of life with dignity, may be extended to assess the degree of politicisation of basic needs by people in this context. South Africa has undergone a liberal democratic transition and embraces the ideology of human rights. However, the right to food, and the “expansion of the „capabilities‟ of persons to lead the kind of lives they value—and have reason to value”1 lays enmeshed within the rural development dilemma, the language of human rights and freedoms, and the developmental objectives of the South African State.
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