Contemporary Voices: First Year Male Residence Students Experiencing Senior Male Students’ Aggression
Johan Botha, Corlia Twine

South Africa is viewed as a country where aggression and violence are rife in all sectors of society. Literature has drawn particular attention to the anti-social or destructive behavior of senior male students at universities in South Africa. This paper deals with first year male students’ experiences of senior male students’ aggression in campus residences with hierarchical structures of power. Fourteen first year male students who live in residences on a South African university campus voluntarily participated. A qualitative phenomenological design situated in an interpretive paradigm was used. Data collection was done in two phases: photonarratives (written) and photo-narrative-elicitation-interviews. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the data. The findings indicate that first year male students associate their experience of senior male students’ aggression in residences with negative feelings and emotions, ranging from indifference to negativity, which affected their emotional, physical and psychological well-being. Aggression is established practice in these university residences where the power structure allows seniors to behave aggressively and to entrench aggression. Aggression of this kind is detrimental to the well-being of first year male students as it affects them physically, emotionally and psychologically. This has a negative impact on their personal well-being and on their academic performance.

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