EXCERPT | Worrier State: The stories we tell ourselves to manage risk and fear in the dangerous city of Jo’burg

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Worrier State: Risk, Anxiety and Moral Panic in South Africa by Nicky Falkof. (Wits University Press)
Worrier State: Risk, Anxiety and Moral Panic in South Africa by Nicky Falkof. (Wits University Press)

BOOK: Worrier State: Risk, Anxiety and Moral Panic in South Africa by Nicky Falkof. (Wits University Press)

In her new book, Worrier State: Risk, Anxiety and Moral Panic in South Africa (Wits University Press), Nicky Falkof examines South Africa’s ‘intricate and multiple manifestations of the culture of fear’, viewed through the lens of narratives such as ‘white genocide’, the ‘Satanist’ murders of young white women, and how residents of the suburb of Melville manage and communicate their fears as well as their sense of their own goodness. In this excerpt, she talks about her overall conception of the book. Falkof is associate professor of media studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, and the co-editor of Anxious Jo’burg: The Inner Lives of a Global South City.

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