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Author Sinclair, Marion Debra Ryan
Title The experience of exclusion: Strategies of adaptation among immigrants in post-apartheid urban South Africa
book jacket
Descript 275 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-05, Section: A, page: 1952
Chairperson: David Spain
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Washington, 2001
As apartheid ended in South Africa, controls over the movement of people were lifted, provoking substantial alterations in patterns of urbanization across the country. From social and political perspectives, however, these domestic changes are arguably overshadowed by the more visible impacts of cross-border migration into South Africa. It has been estimated that there have been between 4.5 and 8 million foreigners moving illegally into South Africa since 1990
While a great deal of academic attention has been paid to the economic and political consequences of both formal and undocumented foreign migration, little has been addressed to social consequences: for example to the adaptation of migrants to their new circumstances, the response of South African communities to foreigners and the impacts of these new relations on city structure and operation. Most past research on migrant communities (Bonner, Bozzoli, Davenport, Hellman etc.) has focused on internal (rural-urban) migrants, and what little work there is on foreign migrant communities has been conducted largely in isolated and contained communities (e.g. Moodie's work on Basotho mineworkers in hostels). Now, however, violence and general hostility towards migrants in particular are generating important social and physical consequences that are beginning to find wider manifestation in South African cities
To redress this imbalance, this dissertation investigates the history and experiences of foreigners in South African cities, and compares these with data on internal migrants. It examines different scenarios of adaptation and integration, and scrutinizes foreign migration as a force of change in the urban place. It looks at how exclusion has been a force of social control over South Africa's urban history, and at the consequences of such exclusion on post-apartheid communities
The most significant findings relate to patterns of assimilation or integration, particularly to the characteristics and roles of migrant communities that have emerged. Whereas in the past, for both internal migrants and legal foreign workers, migrant communities functioned largely to enhance commonalties, foster mutual responses to new living conditions and facilitate integration into urban life, today's migrant communities are more ethnically exclusive and self-contained, operating to protect the individual migrant against hostility from the South African public. No longer are assimilation or integration the primary focus of these groups---in fact individual migrants increasingly view their time in South Africa as temporary
These new features of migrant society are particularly relevant in the development of national and urban policy. For example, hostility between groups poses a critical challenge to policy-makers, as does the presence of large numbers of temporary, frequently illegal, migrants, who have little commitment to the long-term development of the city
School code: 0250
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 62-05A
Subject Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
0631
Alt Author University of Washington
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