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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The disengagement of the South African medical diaspora in Canada
Authors:Crush, JonathanISNI
Chikanda, AbelISNI
Pendleton, WadeISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic terms:Canada
South Africa
brain drain
Abstract:Conventional wisdom holds that the 'brain drain' of health professionals from Africa is deeply damaging to the continent. Recently, a group of North American and European neoliberal economists has challenged this view, variously arguing that the negative consequences are highly exaggerated and the compensating benefits many. The benefits include various forms of diaspora engagement in which those who have left then engage in a variety of activities and actions that bring substantial benefits to their country of origin. This article examines the case of South African physicians in Canada to test this argument. The study on which the article is based found that these physicians constitute a profoundly disengaged diaspora. The quantitative evidence shows that while they continue to assert a South African identity and take some interest in events in the country, they do not participate significantly in any of the activities that typify diaspora engagement. The article then uses the qualitative narratives of the physicians to discuss how they justify this situation to themselves. As we show, at the heart of these narratives is a dystopic set of images that show nothing of value and nothing praiseworthy in post-apartheid South Africa. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]