‘Fitting In’: Social Cohesion among Skilled Migrant Indian Women and Host Diasporic Communities in South Africa

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Pragna Rugunanan

Abstract

Migration has traditionally been seen as a primarily male domain, particularly in developing countries. However, global practices have increased the visibility of women migrants such that the feminisation and irregularisation of migration has led to new flows of transnational migrant movements, particularly to South Africa. Attention is drawn to the growth of South-South migration, specifically focusing on Indian migrant women, as accompanying their professional spouses migrating to South Africa. Set within a social cohesion framework, this paper examines how the women attempt to find a ‘fit’ in a socially diverse society where distrust, exclusion and racism still prevail. This investigation is based on exploratory research using qualitative interviews conducted with married Indian women. The focus of this paper examines the reasons for their migration, their choice to migrate specifically to South Africa, perceptions of South Africa, their sense of inclusion and observes if they develop a sense of belonging to the country. Preliminary findings show that the migrants find South Africans very tolerant, but keep to themselves as the fear of crime impedes integration.

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How to Cite
Rugunanan, P. (2017). ‘Fitting In’: Social Cohesion among Skilled Migrant Indian Women and Host Diasporic Communities in South Africa. Alternation Journal, 24(1), 170-196. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/770
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