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  • Author or Editor: Dominic Pasura x
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This article analyses the performative and lived realities of the Zimbabwean diaspora in Britain. The author explores the way in which both public and private spaces of the diaspora are important arenas in the construction and reconstruction of gendered identities. It is based on multisited ethnography, comprising 33 in-depth interviews and participant observation in four research sites, and draws upon concepts of diaspora and transnationalism as theoretical and analytical frameworks. The findings suggest that the challenges to patriarchal traditions in the hostland in terms of women's primary migrant status and financial autonomy, the different labour market experiences of men and women, and egalitarian laws have caused tensions and conflict within diaspora households. The article examines how men use religious and social spaces, which provide for the affirmation of more traditional roles and relations, as a form of public resistance to changes happening within the domestic sphere. Cet article analyse les réalités de la diaspora zimbabwéenne en Grande-Bretagne telles qu'elles sont vécues ou représentées. L'auteur explore la voie par laquelle les espaces tant publics que privés sont des arènes importantes dans la construction et la reconstruction des identités de genre. Il est basé sur une ethnographie multi-sites, comprenant 33 entretiens poussés et l'observation participante dans quatre sites de recherche, et en tire les concepts de diaspora et de trans-nationalisme comme des structures théoriques et analytiques. Les découvertes suggèrent que les défis aux traditions patriarcales dans le pays d'accueil en termes de statut principal de migrant et d'autonomie financière des femmes et que les expériences différentes sur le marché du travail des hommes et des femmes et les lois égalitaires ont causé des rapports tendus et conflictuels dans les ménages de la diaspora zimbabwéenne. L'article examine comment les hommes utilisent les espaces religieux et sociaux pour affirmer des rôles et des relations plus traditionnels comme une forme de résistance publique aux changements intervenant dans la sphère privée.

In: African Diaspora
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Abstract

This article examines the ways in which mainstream churches engender migrants’ maintenance of transnational ties and improve their integration into British society. It uses the Zimbabwean Catholic congregation in Birmingham as a case study. The central thrust of this article is that African diaspora congregations have emerged as public spaces to construct transnational identities and provide alternative forms of belonging, and have reinvented themselves as agents of re-evangelization to the host society. In contrast to other transnational ties such as remittances and hometown associations whose activities are orientated toward the homeland, reverse evangelization embodies the giving out of something to the host society. It is the awareness and ability to influence and shape the face of Christianity in Britain that gives African Christian migrants the agency to participate in other aspects of British society, providing an alternative path to integration. As the article argues, religious identities among Zimbabwean migrants should be seen not just as a religious phenomenon but also as markers of cultural difference from the host society, which constructs them as ‘other’.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa

This article examines debates over conflict diasporas’ relationships to the African crises that initially produced them. It investigates the difference that crisis makes to frameworks for thinking about diasporic entanglements with political, economic and cultural change in sending countries. We argue that the existing literature and dominant approaches are partial, ahistorical, and constrained in other ways. The special issue contributes to new strands of scholarship that aim to rectify these inadequacies, seeking historical depth, spatial complexity and attention to moral- alongside political-economies. To achieve these aims, the special issue focuses on one country – Zimbabwe. This introductory article provides an overview of the themes and arguments of the special issue, revealing the multitude of ways in which diasporic communities are imbricated with political-economic, developmental, familial, and religious change in the homeland.

Open Access
In: African Diaspora

This article explores the emergence of ‘diaspora orphans’ over the course of Zimbabwe’s crisis. The debates over this phenomenon reflect a range of real emotional and practical problems encountered by children and youth with parents abroad. But they also highlight the ambiguity of moral judgments of emigration and émigrés, and the crisis of expectation that assumptions of diaspora wealth have fostered within families and among those remaining behind. The negative stereotyping of ‘diaspora orphans’ reflects the moral discourse circulating within families, schools and society more broadly, which is revealing for the light it sheds on unfolding debates over changing parenting, gender, and extended family obligations as these have been challenged by crisis and mass exodus. The article furthers understanding of transnational parenting, particularly the perspectives of those who fulfil substitute parental caring roles for children left behind, and of the moral dimensions of debates over the role of money and material goods in intimate relationships of care for children. It adds a new strand to debates over African youths by focusing not on the problems created through entrapment by poverty, but on the emotional consequences of parents’ spatial mobility in middle class families where material resources may be ample. The article is based on interviews with adults looking after children and youths left behind (maids, siblings, grandparents and single parents), and the reflections of teachers and ‘diaspora orphans’ themselves.

Open Access
In: African Diaspora