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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Home, farm and shop: the migration of Madeiran women to South Africa, 1900-1980
Author:Glaser, CliveISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:South Africa
women migrants
labour migration
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070.2012.732292
Abstract:Madeiran immigration into South Africa from the beginning of the1900s to the 1970s followed a classic male-led migration pattern. It was virtually unheard of for a woman to migrate without a formal attachment to a man. The history of Madeiran migration has therefore usually understated the experience of women in the migration chain. This article attempts not only to recover some of the historical experience of women immigrants from Madeira to South Africa but to place gender relationships at the centre of the migration process. Initially they provided the labour and domestic continuity that made the release of young men from the peasant economy possible. After joining men in South Africa, they continued to provide crucial labour, stabilized the community, and became the most important bearers of cultural identity. The first section of the article focuses on male departure. It analyses the conditions in the Madeiran household which made migration both possible and desirable. The second section discusses the migration of women to South Africa through various forms of marriage and family reunification. The final section concentrates on the immigrant family. It examines patriarchal households, the isolation of women, the influence of the Catholic Church and the often unrecognised role of women's labour in establishing family businesses. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]