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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Labour migration and associations in Africa: two case studies
Author:Middleton, J.ISNI
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Subjects:labour migration
Abstract:Almost all studies on labour migration have been concerned with either the individual immigrant as the main unit of analysis, or - more rarely - with the traditional tribal system in the labor-supplying areas. The same may be said of most studies of urban and other associations, at the labor-receiving end of the process. In the old concepts of 'urbanization', 'detribalization', and so on, there has generally been the assumption that urban and rural cultures are different and distinct. This is doubted by the author who argues that anthropologists have tended to take the wrong units as their basis for analysis; needed is further analysis in terms of units or systems wider than the tribe'. To illustrate his argument, the author gives two brief examples, both from his own experience: the Lugbara (Uganda), studied from 1949 until 1952, and the Ibo (Nigeria), studied in 1963-64. Conclusion: It is misleading to talk of 'urban' associations as though they were distinct from the countryside. Labour migration is far more than a local and occasional way of making money and easing land shortage in impoverished rural areas. Associations formed by labor migrants are segments in a widening political system. Ref., résumé français.