Graduate School
Welkom by Universiteit Stellenbosch

Dr Pedzisayi Mangezvo

Home country: Zimbabwe

Year of enrolment: 2012

Graduation date: March 2015

Department:  Social Anthropology

Supervisor: Prof Steven Robins

Dissertation title: Xenophobic exclusion and masculinities among Zimbabwean male migrants : The case of Cape Town and Stellenbosch

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.

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