Xenophobic exclusion and masculinities among Zimbabwean male migrants : the case of Cape Town and Stellenbosch

Mangezvo, Pedzisayi Leslie (2015-03)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The anthropological investigation of masculinities remains an understudied dimension of transnational migration and xenophobia studies in post-apartheid South Africa. This thesis sets out to examine the interface between xenophobia, migrant experiences and masculinities among Zimbabwean male migrants in Cape Town and Stellenbosch. Drawing from the conceptual ideas of Critical Studies of Men (CSM) and on the basis of conversations with Zimbabwean male migrants in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, the thesis explores the relationship between the perceived threat of xenophobia and the production of enclaved, subaltern, troubled and aspirational masculinities. The thesis assesses how “xenophobia talk” among the Zimbabwean male migrants appears to produce socio-spatial separations with South African nationals. We see in the football-playing migrants in Stellenbosch an attempt to circumvent perceived exclusion by establishing enclaved male domains that assert their ‘authority’ as Zimbabwean men. The thesis therefore demonstrates the productivity of talk in the construction of xenophobia, male identities and identifications. There is literature suggesting that sections of South African nationals refer to African migrants derogatively as amakwerekwere. Conversely, evidence from Cape Town and Stellenbosch show how Zimbabwean male migrants openly talk about South Africans in equally adverse terms. This raises questions about the role migrants play in the production of reverse xenophobia and their contribution towards the perpetuation of processes of othering that transnational migration often engenders. The thesis draws the conclusion that the threat of xenophobia does not deter Zimbabwean male subjects from migrating to South Africa. However, it compels them to map South African urban spaces in very specific ways.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die antropologiese ondersoek na vorms van manlikheid is ʼn dimensie van studies oor transnasionale migrasie en xenofobie in postapartheid Suid-Afrika waaroor daar steeds min navorsing gedoen word. Hierdie tesis ondersoek die skeidingsvlak tussen xenofobie, migrante se ervarings en vorms van manlikheid onder manlike Zimbabwiese migrante in Kaapstad en Stellenbosch. Gebaseer op die konsepsuele idees van Critical Studies of Men (CSM) en gesprekke met manlike Zimbabwiese migrante in Kaapstad en Stellenbosch, ondersoek die tesis die verhouding tussen die waargeneemde bedreiging van xenofobie en die totstandkoming van ingeslote, ondergeskikte, ongeruste en ambisieuse manlikhede. Die tesis evalueer hoe “xenofobie-taal” onder manlike Zimbabwiese migrante sosio-ruimtelike afstande tussen hulle en Suid-Afrikaanse burgers skep. Ons sien onder die sokkerspelende migrante in Stellenbosch dat daar ʼn poging is om waargeneemde uitsluiting te omseil deur die daarstelling van ingeslote manlike domeine wat hulle ‘outoriteit’ as Zimbabwiese mans handhaaf. Die tesis demonstreer dus die manier waarop taal bydra tot die konstruksie van xenofobie, manlike identiteite en identifikasies. Daar bestaan literatuur wat suggereer dat sekere segmente van Suid-Afrikaanse burgers op ʼn neerhalende wyse na migrante uit Afrika verwys as amakwerekwere. Daarteenoor is daar bewyse uit Kaapstad en Stellenbosch wat toon dat manlike Zimbabwiese migrante openlik na Suid-Afrikaners in ooreenstemmende verkleinerende terme verwys. Dit laat vrae ontstaan oor die rol wat migrante speel in die daarstelling van omgekeerde xenofobie en hulle bydrae tot die voortbestaan van prosesse van vervreemding wat dikwels spruit uit transnasionale migrasie. Hierdie tesis kom tot die slotsom dat manlike Zimbabwiese persone nie deur die bedreiging van xenofobie afgeskrik word om na Suid-Afrika te migreer nie. Dit dwing hulle egter om Suid-Afrikaanse stedelike gebiede op baie spesifieke maniere te karteer sodat hulle in hierdie gebiede kan bly sonder om daardeur gebind te word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96485
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