Transnational parenting and the emergence of 'diaspora orphans’ in Zimbabwe

Kufakurinani, U., Pasura, D. and McGregor, J. (2014) Transnational parenting and the emergence of 'diaspora orphans’ in Zimbabwe. African Diaspora, 7(1), pp. 114-138. (doi: 10.1163/18725465-00701006)

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This article explores the emergence of ‘diaspora orphans’ over the course of Zimbabwe’s crisis. The debates over this phenomenon reflect a range of real emotional and practical problems encountered by children and youth with parents abroad. But they also highlight the ambiguity of moral judgments of emigration and émigrés, and the crisis of expectation that assumptions of diaspora wealth have fostered within families and among those remaining behind. The negative stereotyping of ‘diaspora orphans’ reflects the moral discourse circulating within families, schools and society more broadly, which is revealing for the light it sheds on unfolding debates over changing parenting, gender, and extended family obligations as these have been challenged by crisis and mass exodus. The article furthers understanding of transnational parenting, particularly the perspectives of those who fulfil substitute parental caring roles for children left behind, and of the moral dimensions of debates over the role of money and material goods in intimate relationships of care for children. It adds a new strand to debates over African youths by focusing not on the problems created through entrapment by poverty, but on the emotional consequences of parents’ spatial mobility in middle class families where material resources may be ample. The article is based on interviews with adults looking after children and youths left behind (maids, siblings, grandparents and single parents), and the reflections of teachers and ‘diaspora orphans’ themselves.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pasura, Dr Dominic
Authors: Kufakurinani, U., Pasura, D., and McGregor, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:African Diaspora
ISSN (Online):1872-5465
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in African Diaspora 7(1):114-138
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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