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ACMS research mentioned in Ground Up

21 April, 2015

South Africa: Xenophobia - Let's Avoid the Easy Answers

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ACMS research mentioned in Daily Monitor

22 April, 2015

 Why South Africans hate African migrants

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Call for Workshop Applicants: Migration, urbanisation and health in southern Africa: interdisciplinary conversations

July 27th – 29th, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is associated with high level of historical and contemporary population movements, a high prevalence of communicable – and increasingly non-communicable – diseases, and rapid urban growth.  Associated with a growing population of the urban poor – many of whom are recent migrants to the city, as well as increasing inequality, southern African cities and towns urgently need to address these interlinked development challenges.  This requires a new discussion:  improving research and policy responses to ensure healthy urban migration in a context of inequality and inequity requires interdisciplinary conversations and multi-level action at regional, national and local levels.

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Mobility transition and health transition: beyond migrant categories

A presentation by Prof Philippe Bocquier

Prof Philippe Bocquier from the the Centre de recherches en démographie (Centre DEMO) of the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium presented Mobility transition and health transition: beyond migrant categories at our lunchtime seminar on 16 April.

The traditional view on migration has seen people moving from poorer to affluent areas driven by an irrepressible attraction to the modern world. The figure of the migrant is that of a settler who abandoned for good his former way of life to adopt a new one. However actual mobility patterns are never that simple and the classic theoretical framework has to be adapted to account for rather ubiquitous populations. Taking examples in Africa, this communication was an attempt to integrate the socio-demographic and epidemiological frameworks to explain the consequences of migration on health. Click here to access the presentation or listen to the full Podcast.

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AIDS care and treatment abandonment in Mozambique

Lunchtime seminar on 21 April at 12:30 in the Graduate Humanities Seminar Room, South West Engineering Building, Wits

Dr Bent Steenberg, a post-doctoral fellow at the African Centre for Migration and Society, will be presenting on his doctoral research work. He will make a brief presentation of excerpts of the key findings of a PhD monograph based on 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Mozambican AIDS treatment clinics. Mozambican AIDS care is made up of a jumbled patchwork of global health discourse, national priorities, donor agendas, and regional and local political manoeuvring. Exploring a socioeconomic landscape characterised by poverty and endemic malnutrition, the author finds that this complexity of institutional interaction unintentionally aggravates stigma in ways that ironically and paradoxically exacerbate rates of non-adherence to antiretroviral drugs and AIDS treatment abandonment in spite of best intentions. The thesis demonstrates how an AIDS care apparatus, fully intent on alleviating suffering and treating disease, has become an engine of stigma. Theoretically, thoughts of classical sociologists and medical anthropologists are brought together to form a more comprehensive blueprint of the basic functions and social mechanisms of AIDS stigma — a new conceptual systematisation referred to as ‘stigmatics’.

Date: Tuesday 21 April

Time: 12:30 – 13:30

Venue: Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering, East Campus, Wits

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Violence, condemnation, and the meaning of living in South Africa

By Loren B. Landau

Go Home or Die Here Cover

This is an excerpt from,"Go Home or Die Here: Violence, Xenophobia and the Reinvention of Difference in South Africapublished in 2008 by Wits University Press.

Refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, illegals, border jumpers, displacees, Nigerians, aliens, amakwerekwere have long been on South Africans’ minds. For many they are primarily groups to be feared, disdained, occasionally pitied, and often exploited. Often seen as a threat to the country’s wealth and health, the country’s government and much of its civil society has long turned a blind eye to foreigners’ systematic marginalisation, mass deportation (close to 300 000 people in 2007) and the ever more rapid and rabid murders at the hands of the country’s citizenry.

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Demons and Democracy: Positive Values and the Politics of Outsiderness

By Loren B. Landau

This is an excerpt from, "Exorcising the Demons Within: Xenophobia, Violence and Statecraft in Contemporary South Africa published in 2011 by Wits University Press and United Nations University Press.

A particular ethic of citizenship and transformation is at the root of the tensions and violence we have seen over the past weeks. Born in the struggle against apartheid, the logos of contemporary citizenship insists, if often implicitly, on the categorization of people into two primary groups.  The first is a relatively homogenous, entitled majority. The second is made of people who, by virtue of their experience, origins, or occupation, can only claim political legitimacy and recognition by demonstrating their utility to a true and deserving political community. This is where much of the problem lies. Without a new language and politics of difference, the more South African leaders and citizens push for transformation, social cohesion, and dialogue, the more violent, anti-outsider conflict is likely to emerge. As a group with only limited options to claim a legal presence in South Africa and even fewer options for political recognition, non-nationals and other suspect groups have few means of securing a place in South Africa’s transforming society. Ironically, the strategies activists and, indeed, migrants have often used to claim such recognition may, ultimately, harden the boundaries between them and a politically empowered, if materially impoverished, citizenry.

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No Place Like Home

An Al Jazeera Publication By Khadija Patel and Azad Essa with some input from ACMS Researcher Jean-Pierre Misago

Running small convinience stores in the townships is a dangerous business for foreigners. Often serving their customers through locked gates, they are accused of spreading disease, stealing jobs and sponging off basic government services like electricity, running water and healthcare. But as violence against them continues, the South African government insists that criminality is behind it, not xenophobia. Read the full publication here.

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Mobility transition and health transition: beyond migrant categories

Lunch time seminar Thursday 16 April 12:30 - 13:30 in the Dean's Committee Room, South West Engineering

Prof Philippe Bocquier from the the Centre de recherches en démographie (Centre DEMO) of the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium will be presenting Mobility transition and health transition: beyond migrant categories our next lunchtime seminar on the 16 April. 

The traditional view on migration has seen people moving from poorer to affluent areas driven by an irrepressible attraction to the modern world. The figure of the migrant is that of a settler who abandoned for good his former way of life to adopt a new one. However actual mobility patterns are never that simple and the classic theoretical framework has to be adapted to account for rather ubiquitous populations. Taking examples in Africa, this communication is an attempt to integrate the socio-demographic and epidemiological frameworks to explain the consequences of migration on health.


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MoVe: Methods.Visual.Explore Launch Exhibition

Wednesday 25 March 2015 at 16:30

Venue: Boundless City

Since 2006, the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) has explored the use of creative methodologies (e.g photography, creative writing, body mapping) with more traditional qualitative research methods in social science research. These projects engage in the co-production of knowledge through the development of partnerships with migrant groups, especially those who are under-represented and face multiple vulnerabilities. Such partnerships have included informal settlement residents, inner-city migrants and hostel residents, LGBTIQ asylum seekers, and migrant men, women and transgender persons engaged in the sex industry. These projects have culminated in a range of research and advocacy outputs, including community-based exhibitions, public exhibitions, engagement with officials and outreach into multi-media forums.

 MoVE focuses on the development of visual and other involved methodologies to research the lived experiences of migrants in southern Africa.

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