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The study examined the social effects of graffiti as pieces of writing or drawings scribbled, scratched or sprayed on surfaces of public toilets or bus termini. The study followed a qualitative exploratory design in which the researchers observed the messages expressed in the graffiti and conducted a discourse analysis on their effects on the moral fabric of society. Themes and perceptions towards some societal ills emerged from the analysis. The main aim of the study was thus to unravel the possible social issues expressed through this art of graffiti and sgraffitti. A purposive total sample size of 10 public toilets and bus termini was used for the study. Among the major findings of this study was the view that the messages conveyed through the graffiti and sgraffitti expressed a disapproval and distaste of such anti-social acts as promiscuity, prostitution and crime that are prevalent in the city of Johannesburg and its environs. In addition, gender based violence, stereotypes prejudices and stigmas against women, homosexuality and HIV/AIDS were among the dominant graffiti and sgrafitto messages. The study concluded that although graffiti and sgraffitti artists tend to deform and deface some public utilities, their call for normative social behaviour in society shows that there is a need to deconstruct a number of societal biases such as gender biases, sex, sexual orientation, stigmas, stereotypes and other prejudices associated with the diverse nature of the human species. The recommendation made by this study is that there is a dire need for advocacy by social workers, the city fathers, the metro police division and other human rights organisations to deconstruct and demystify certain human practices, acts and mind sets.
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