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Title: The fragmentation and everydayness of diasporic citizenship : experiences of Zimbabweans in South Africa and the United Kingdom (Year 2000 and beyond)
Author: Miriyoga, Langton
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 9930
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis draws on a range of theoretical lenses from different disciplines, to understand the implications of transnational migration and citizenship. It largely uses different strands of citizenship theory to guide thinking on the displacement and flight of Zimbabweans since the year 2000, conceptualising it as a product of a deep-rooted 'citizenship crisis' within Zimbabwe. This thesis focusses on Zimbabwean emigration since year 2000 and beyond because this period is considered the height of the socioeconomic and political crisis in Zimbabwe; but it also traces the historical roots of this crisis. This thesis therefore acknowledges how a focus on post-2000 developments and experiences, leaves out fragments of the Zimbabwean nation who left earlier in the nation's history. Experiences of these older fragments of the Zimbabwean diaspora fall outside the scope of this thesis, but causes of their departure will be examined in Chapter three to reveal the link between citizenship and emigration. This thesis also demonstrates how this crisis-driven emigration reconfigures the practice of citizenship profoundly, but it is not clear how. This makes it fascinating to explore the modes by which these emigrants negotiate citizenship both in the host country and country of origin, while hosted outside Zimbabwe. This multi-sited qualitative study examines experiences of a sample of 145 Zimbabweans living in selected locations in the UK and South Africa. This thesis also contains a stand-alone methodology chapter in which I critically reflect on my own unique fieldwork experiences, highlighting useful methodological and practical insights on researching diaspora citizenship in South Africa (in contradistinction to the UK). Results of this study confirm that Zimbabwean migrants indeed constitute a fractured diaspora, but their fragmentation manifests not only materially but also in their modes of citizenship (Pasura, 2010; 2008). They imagine and enact citizenship in multiple ways, beyond universal, state-centric, modes of politico-legal citizenship. In terms of findings, with a small proportion of participants engaging in overt political activism aimed at directly influencing homeland political processes, discursive political activity (everyday political talk) emerged as a dominant way of indirectly engaging and contesting authoritarian state back in their homeland. This thesis shows how formal legal status, rights and claims-making directed at the state, also tend to be supplanted by diasporas' everyday social practices. Lastly, this study shows how this fragmented and everyday diasporic citizenship is mediated by an interplay of historical, geographical and contextual factors. And comparing experiences of Zimbabweans in the South African and UK illustrates the role of context in shaping emerging modes of diaspora citizenship in those two places.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Langton Miriyoga ; Transnational Migration ; Crisis of Citizenship ; Everyday Citizenship ; Fragmentation ; Zimbabwean diaspora