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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'A Town is Just a Town': Poverty and Social Relations of Migration in Namibia
Author:Tvedten, IngeISNI
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:rural-urban relations
urban poverty
Economics and Trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Urbanization and Migration
Abstract:Despite the urbanization of poverty and the dismal future awaiting the majority of town dwellers in southern Africa, urbanization rates have not slowed down. Based on field research in Namibia, this article argues that urban migration should be seen as part of a complex coping strategy involving both rural and urban social units. Urban-rural social links are central to the decision to move, as well as to coping strategies once settled in town. Focusing on the social relations of migration reveals how increasing urban poverty weakens these links as people cannot fill them with material content and live up to social and cultural expectations. The gradual weakening of the urban and rural links reaches a cut-off point beyond which they are difficult to repair - questioning the assumption that migration is a central element in the livelihoods of poor as well as rich households in developing countries. The first part of the article places the issue of urban migration into a theoretical perspective; the second part gives an overview of urban Namibia; and the third part focuses on the nature of urban migration and urban-rural links with particualr reference to the capital Windhoek and the town of Oshakati in northern Namibia. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French. [ASC Leiden abstract]