The Beaches Study

Among other changes, the transition from apartheid to post-apartheid South Africa entailed a reorganisation of leisure spaces. In this project, we explored changing relations on the formerly white beach of Scottburgh located on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. The project yielded several research articles and was also the subject of a book entitled ‘Racial Encounter: The Social Psychology of Contact and Desegregation’ (Durrheim and Dixon, 2005).

The image below shows an aerial view of the layout of one of the beaches we studied. Apart from collecting interviews with beach-goers, we also collected data about spatial and temporal patterns of occupation, using maps derived from this aerial view.