The impact of labour migration on the Swazi rural homestead as solidarity group

TitleThe impact of labour migration on the Swazi rural homestead as solidarity group
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsA.H.M. Leliveld
Secondary TitleFocaal : tijdschrift voor antropologieFocaal
Pagination177 - 197
Date Published1994///
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, family, labour migration, Social networks, Social security, South Africa, Swaziland

As labour migration to South Africa is a pronounced feature of Swazi society, its impact on Swazi society is substantial. This paper examines what labour migration means to the social security role of the Swazi rural homestead. By discussing the relationship between labour migration and the conditions which determine whether or not a social group can act as a solidarity group (viz. the size of a social group, its composition, its durability, its capacity to raise means, and the existence of a 'normative insurance'), the author estimates the impact of labour migration on the rural homestead in its capacity as a solidarity group. For this purpose he compares a group of homesteads with migrants in South Africa and a group of homesteads without. Data are derived from a 1990 survey among 115 rural homesteads situated on Swazi Nation Land. The author shows that the impact of labour migration differs according to the type of homestead. As a solidarity group, homesteads in the establishment and expansion stage are far more affected by labour migration than homesteads in other stages of the developmental cycle (viz. consolidation, fission, decline). App., bibliogr., notes, ref

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