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Hyenas of the Limpopo: "Illicit Labour Recruiting," Assisted Border Crossings, and the Social Politics of Movement Across South Africas Border with Zimbabwe
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Borderlands Studies, ISSN 0886-5655, E-ISSN 2159-1229, Vol. 34, no 3, p. 433-450Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the negotiation of undocumented cross-border movement, or assisted border crossings, at Beitbridge, South Africas border with Zimbabwe. By reading border practices as arising from a complex synthesis of state regulatory norms with social relations that shape everyday encounters with the Beitbridge border space, the article argues that assisted border crossings are temporally, structurally and experientially determined. The article proposes the local concept of ukutshokotsha as a way of understanding "border struggles" that shape this "morphogenesis." Located in historical, regional, political-economic, as well as experiential contexts, assisted border crossings are analyzed as rooted in everyday encounters with a fraught border space, as opposed solely to the borders official institutional norms. The article argues that a focus on border practices is important in as far as it privileges the complex agency of disparate border actors, of the border, and of the shifting meanings of borders that emerge from everyday practices. By describing the colonial style "illicit labour recruiting" and post-independence "assisted border crossings" as a socio-historical, phenomenological, and political process, the article emphasizes the active role of middlemen in shaping the nature and meaning of the Beitbridge border and of the political economic organization of cross-border movement in contemporary Southern Africa. The article argues that the social politics of movement across the Beitbridge border is as much a contingency of history, a material, social and existential aspect of contemporary border practices, and a characteristic of everyday forms of Southern African state formation in a general context of socio-economic crisis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2019. Vol. 34, no 3, p. 433-450
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-164507DOI: 10.1080/08865655.2017.1348910ISI: 000468809000007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-164507DiVA, id: diva2:1416452
Note

Funding Agencies|Sparbanksstiftelsen Alfa; Nordic Africa Institute

Available from: 2020-03-23 Created: 2020-03-23 Last updated: 2020-03-23

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REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and SocietyFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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