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Title: 'The world has turned upside down' : migration, social transition and negotiations with difference in a Namibian squatters' settlement
Author: Markusic, Tracy Ann
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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In 1997, seven years after Namibian independence, which ended more than 100 years of colonial rule, local municipalities in some central Namibian townships undertook the development of ‘reception areas’. These reception areas became the first multi-ethnic settlements established since the partitioning of residential areas into ethnically homogenous sections under South African apartheid, and were created to secure both large numbers of recent migrants and long-term residents better access to resources and more favourable living conditions. Hakahana, the fieldsite of this study, is one such settlement and is located in the central township of Omaruru. Hakahana houses a growing number of migrants from Namibia’s northern regions and former central service areas, as well as long-term residents of Omaruru unable to obtain permanent housing within the township. Exploring the historical construction of ‘racial’, ‘ethnic’ and class-based differences, this study begins with an examination of the varied historical practices of migration enacted and experienced by Oshiwambo-, Damara- and Otjiherero-speaking Namibians (Hakahana’s and Namibia’s three most populous ‘ethnic groups’). It investigates shifting economic and cultural impetuses for migration in light of Namibian Independence, elucidating the importance of this form of mobility as a transitional force in the re-creation of Omaruru’s social and political landscapes. Beyond an investigation of ‘race’, ‘ethnicity’ or class, it poses the study of difference as a theoretical means to achieving greater understandings of the processes of identity formation undertaken by Hakahana’s residents. Through the examination of memory narratives it illustrates the divergent moral visions of community created and held by Hakahana’s residents and the importance of Namibia’s divided past in influencing people’s willingness and ability to appropriate ethnic and national identities. Focusing on the micro-level dynamics of life in Hakahana, this study considers this newly created settlement as a living ‘community’ in which the transitional struggles occurring Namibia’s social and political landscapes are manifested and played out.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available