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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:South African migrant teachers' decision-making: levels of influence and 'relative deprivation'
Author:Manik, Sadhana
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic terms:South Africa
Great Britain
Subjects:South Africans
return migration
Abstract:South Africa entered the international labour market on becoming a non-racial democracy in 1994. The transnational migration of teachers from South Africa to developed countries such as the UK reflects international labour trends, with professionals from developing countries in the global South migrating to gain better professional and lifestyle prospects to countries in the global North. This article examines the process of decisionmaking when teachers leave South Africa to teach in the UK and when they return home. It focuses on the period from 2001 to 2008, during the height of teacher recruitment from South Africa to the UK, using empirical evidence from a study undertaken to examine the nature of South African teacher migration. Decisions to migrate internationally were influenced by a host of factors from the micro- to the meso- and macro-level that collectively influenced teachers to leave South Africa. The author draws on O. Stark's concept of 'relative deprivation' and extends it to show that both student teachers and seasoned teachers experienced relative deprivation in South Africa. They endured the discontinuity of migration in the interests of improved socio-economic and career prospects. However, while all migrant teachers appreciated the benefits of being in the UK, some chose nevertheless to return. South African teachers were clearly heterogeneous as a group, and the author argues that their decisionmaking about migration, although stimulated by feelings of relative deprivation in South Africa, was fluid, complex and embedded not only in individual choice but also in social networks and family responsibility. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]