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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reconsidering displacement in Southern Africa
Author:De Wet, ChrisISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa
Volume:31
Issue:3-4
Pages:114-122
Language:English
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Subject:displaced persons
Abstract:In the light of developments in the southern African region over the last number of years, this paper argues for a reconsideration of the way in which the concept of 'displacement' has conventionally been understood. It considers a range of different kinds of population movement, arguing that they are essentially interrelated, and that the more conventional distinction between voluntary and involuntary migration is becoming increasingly tenuous. In this regard, the paper shows how, in a number of different situations, people become 'disemplaced', i.e. for a range of socioeconomic reasons, the ability of the area where people live to support or to sustain them progressively erodes under them. They are thus no longer able to remain socially or economically emplaced, and increasingly become unsettled, uprooted, 'disemplaced', having to keep moving around in order to survive. Such disemplacement gives rise to a situation where many people become permanently uprooted and thus, displaced - without having been forcibly moved in the first place. This two-stage process of disemplacement giving rise to displacement - which did not start out as displacement - has implications both for how much of the displacement occurring in southern Africa is conceptualized, as well as for how it is approached and dealt with in the policy arena. Bibliogr., note, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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