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Title:Living within and beyond Johannesburg: exclusion, religion, and emerging forms of being
Author:Landau, Loren B.ISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
social integration
urban society
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020180903109581
Abstract:Drawing on original survey data and interviews, this article explores forms of exclusion, solidarity, and mutual recognition taking shape in Johannesburg (South Africa) among the city's new arrivals and long-term residents. It begins by highlighting three aspects of migrant life in central Johannesburg that situate affiliations with religion, kin, and space. The first is the relative absence of a self-defined and dominant host community; the second is the presence of a virulent and often violent nativism; and lastly, the strategies of recent arrivals to be both part of and apart from the city. In exploring these elements, the article suggests that religion is one of a number of strategies for negotiating inclusion and belonging while transcending ethnic, national and transnational paradigms. Central to these ambitions is ensuring partial inclusion in a transforming society without becoming bounded by it. Rather than reiterating a coherent or consistent philosophy, these are syncretic and ever-evolving amalgams of rhetorical and organizational tools drawing on a diversity of more established discourses and value systems. Through these articulations, migrants are inventing a new language of belonging that may generate unexpected, unpredictable, yet lasting categories of collective membership. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]