Daughters of the Revolution: Spectacle and narrative in S v Zuma

Presented by Lisa Vetten

Date: 
Monday, 17 March, 2014 - 15:00

I argue that the trial of Jacob Zuma for rape was a story-telling contest, one in which a narrative of traumatising father-daughter rape was pitted against another of “delicious” consensual sex, with the final judgement acting as the authoritative or master narrative. In characterising it as such, I am not claiming that legal decisions are works of fiction, but suggesting that these master narratives are stories about reality, rather than reality itself. Narratives are social practices that explain how the world works. They simultaneously reflect and constitute their own meaning as well as their protagonists’ various identities.

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