Negotiating and contesting gendered and sexual identities in the Zimbabwean diaspora

Tinarwo, M. T. and Pasura, D. (2014) Negotiating and contesting gendered and sexual identities in the Zimbabwean diaspora. Journal of Southern African Studies, 40(3), pp. 521-538. (doi:10.1080/03057070.2014.909258)

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Abstract

The transnational and global flows of people, ideas and capital across borders inescapably shape and develop people's gendered and sexual meanings, processes and identities. Drawing on our extended fieldwork, including interviews and participant observation in different social spaces, we seek to examine the negotiation and contestation of gendered and sexual identities among Zimbabwean migrants in Britain. Within transnational diaspora communities, women's bodies and their sexualities are not only symbols of homeland traditions, and cultural markers that distinguish migrants from the indigenous population, they are also sites of ideological and material struggles between different social actors. As Zimbabwean patriarchal traditions compete with liberal and egalitarian values in Britain, the diaspora becomes a site of cultural conflict. Empirical evidence suggests that, within the diaspora, sexuality has been decoupled from traditional marriage and is often expressed in non-normative sexual relationships. We illustrate how the boundaries of gendered practices and sexual behaviours deemed ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ also seem to be shifting.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pasura, Dr Dominic
Authors: Tinarwo, M. T., and Pasura, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Southern African Studies
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:0305-7070
ISSN (Online):1465-3893

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