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Categories and ContextsAnthropological and Historical Studies in Critical Demography$
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Simon Szreter, Hania Sholkamy, and A. Dharmalingam

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199270576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199270570.001.0001

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Situating Migration in Wartime and Post-war Mozambique: A Critique of ‘Forced Migration’ Research

Situating Migration in Wartime and Post-war Mozambique: A Critique of ‘Forced Migration’ Research

Chapter:
(p.371) 19 Situating Migration in Wartime and Post-war Mozambique: A Critique of ‘Forced Migration’ Research
Source:
Categories and Contexts
Author(s):

Stephen C. Lubkemann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199270570.003.0019

Analyzes the causes, organization, and impact of wartime migration during and since Mozambique's recent civil war (1977–1992), in order to challenge theories that establish categorizations of migration based on the degree of its ‘forcedness’. It demonstrates how predominant demographic theories of forced migration rest on a highly reductionist model of decision‐making that fails adequately to examine actor agency and the social and cultural factors that inform agency in acute crisis contexts. It also challenges theoretical models of so‐called ‘forced migration’ that privilege the analysis of macro‐political factors in explaining the causes and organization of wartime movement. Arguing that displacement must be examined in historical perspective, this study shows how migration had long been a strategy deployed by actors in central Mozambique in a variety of local‐level social struggles over the rights and obligations that defined social relationships. These culturally defined, and ‘micro‐level’ social struggles also shaped wartime migration in ways that ultimately resulted in a highly gendered wartime population distribution. This study focuses, in particular, on how struggles over the gendered configuration of power relations within marriage affected wartime and post‐conflict migration through the development of new forms of ‘transnationalized’ polygyny. Finally, this study proposes steps towards developing alternative theoretical approaches to the study of crisis migration.

Keywords:   displacement, forced migration, gender, labour migration, Mozambique, refugees, South Africa, structure/agency, transnationalism

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