The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers develops an argument about how individual migrants, coming from four continents and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, are in many ways affected by a violent categorisation that is often nihilistic, insistently racial, and continuously significant in the organisation of South African society. The book also examines how relative privilege and storytelling function as instruments for migrants to negotiate meanings and shape their lives. It employs narrative life story research as its guiding methodology and applies various disciplinary analytical perspectives, with an overall focus on social categorisation and its consequences. The featured stories stress how unsettled, mutable, and in flux social categories and identities are – just as a messy pencil sketch challenges clear definitions.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 256
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2598-5
Publish Year : February 2021
Rights : World Rights

Abbreviations and acronyms

Acknowledgments

Foreword

Chapter 1: Violent categorisation, relative privilege and migrant experiences in a post-apartheid city

Jonatan Kurzwelly and Luis Escobedo

Chapter 2: Transcending social categories: Reflections on research concerning migrant lives, lived experiences and life stories Luis Escobedo, Jonatan Kurzwelly and Komlan Agbedahin

Chapter 3: From the mainland and from the colony: Essay on the life narrative of a Portuguese migrant in Bloemfontein Ana Rita Amaral

Chapter 4; Becoming white: The story of being assimilated into the white habitus of Bloemfontein Liezl Dick

Chapter 5: Extremism, essentialism and identity: The life story of Muhammad Elvis Ngum Jonatan Kurzwelly, Hamid Fernana and Muhammad Elvis Ngum

Chapter 6: The shifting social relations and national identity practices of a Peruvian migrant in South Africa’s heartland Luis Escobedo, Alba Gómez-Arias and Julio Castillo

Chapter 7: ‘Do you miss kimchi?’ A collaborative arts-based narrative of education and migration Marguerite Müller, Frans Kruger and Ji-Hyeon Jeong

Chapter 8: Written writing: An account of the emergence of an(other) academic author Pablo Del Monte

Chapter 9: Transitioning capitals in international student mobility Faith Mkwananzi

Chapter 10: Migration change processes of a migrant couple: A social morphogenetic approach Adesuwa Vanessa Agbedahin

Chapter 11: The migrant as architect of his own comfort Komlan Agbedahin and Benyam Tesfaye Akalu

Contributors

Index

Jonatan Kurzwelly is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology, University of Göttingen. While working on this book, he held a postdoctoral fellowship in anthropology at the University of the Free State, where he is currently affiliated as a research fellow. His research and writing explore different aspects of personal and social identities. Jonatan is also interested in the study of nationalism, sensory and bodily perception, experimental and collaborative research methods, and the philosophy of social sciences. He is a nomadic academic migrant who defines himself as having two citizenships and no nationality.

Luis Escobedo is a postdoctoral researcher at the Unit for Institutional Change and Social Justice, University of the Free State. Formerly a visiting lecturer at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico, he is currently co-conducting fieldwork in Transylvania on the persisting class/ethnicity correlation in Roma/non-Roma relations in Romania. In his next project, he will follow the footprints made by a brave migrant across Central and North America. A citizen of Peru and resident of Romania, Luis has worked and studied in Austria, Germany, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, and the United States over the past 20 years.

Endorsements

‘The book works across the grain of South African and global studies of migration in surfacing the interactions between conviviality and exclusion; the long legacies of colonial categories and contemporary citizenship; and social science and the humanities. This is a significant contribution to the study of race, migration, and belonging in South Africa with substantive and methodological insights that should resonate far beyond the country’s borders.'

- Loren B. Landau, Professor at the University of Oxford and the University of Witwatersrand

‘In the journey of understanding our own identities, we as ‘others’ seek comfort in shared connections. Our community and individual paths overlap at countless intersections that are shared in this captivating read. Luis and Jonatan dive into the history of Bloemfontein’s community, unpacking migrants’ lived experiences as their stories should have been told.’ – Ming-Cheau Lin, author of Yellow and Confused (Kwela 2019) and Just Add Rice (Quivertree 2018)

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