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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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    Aspirations and everyday life of single migrant women in Ghana
    Tufuor, T. - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Hilje van der Horst; Chizu Sato. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462575578 - 187
    migratie - rurale migratie - ruraal-urbane migratie - platteland - stedelijke gebieden - vrouwen - man-vrouwrelaties - samenleving - gezinsstructuur - ghana - west-afrika - migration - rural rural migration - rural urban migration - rural areas - urban areas - women - gender relations - society - family structure - ghana - west africa

    Female labour migrants in West Africa including Ghana have been widely perceived as followers of male relatives. Since the late 1990s, the increasing movement of young women to cities in the region has drawn attention to this phenomenon and this study discovered females as actors in the migration process. Women have been moving from the rural North to the urban South, especially to Accra, to live in the city’s slums. Their migrations are not associational; these journeys are now independently pursued by women with aspirations to realise their ideals of a better life. Female migrations make up a growing share of migrant labour streams within Ghana. Among the migrants who arrive in Accra every day there is an increasing number of single young women as well as divorced women and neglected as wives from the North of Ghana. Economic explanations do not fully account for such moves, because men and women perform different productive and reproductive roles within the northern households. The varying degrees of gender and intra-household inequality and the women’s anticipation of life changes after migration spur the motivations and aspirations behind the journeys.

    This study on single migrant women (SMW) was conducted in two sites. The first site was in four districts in the Northern Region with its capital Tamale. The Dagomba are the pre­dominant ethnic group here. They practise subsistence farming and most of them are Muslims. The second study site was the Old Fadama (OF) market in Accra. By tracking the migrant women from the North to OF, the study connected the spaces of area of origin and area of destination in the migration process. A mixed-methods approach was applied in data collection, combining qualitative methods such as focus group discussion, case study and life history with a survey in the OF market.

    While in the past the restrictions on women’s sexuality and autonomy prevented women from migrating alone, now northern households provide an incentive for young women to migrate. The women cited a gain in autonomy and freedom as the most important motivation for their move. In the household of their fathers or future husbands in the North, their autonomy is constrained. However, through their earnings in Accra, the women prepare themselves for an expensive religious marriage ceremony, invest in housing or education and also buy modern goods. Young migrant women from the rural Dagomba communities primarily engage in accumulating goods for their dowry, whereas older women accumulate capital for investment in their children’s education. The older women who have no plans anymore of returning to the North to marry, especially those who are successful in Accra and have achieved the status of ‘market mummies’, seek enjoyment in the present but also use their wealth to secure construction of rooms of their own in the North. The women save money, assemble housewares and send remittances with their own independent income.

    In Accra, most young women engage in petty trading. In the OF market in Accra these single migrant women from the North generate livelihoods through the adoption of both market and non-market based strategies by extending and prioritising moral obligations to community members beyond their immediate households, instead of just focusing on maximisation of profits. Communities of old and young market women have built a ‘moral community economy’ through, among others, engaging in reciprocal labour, gift giving, and childcare and food sharing. This contributes positively to household food security and social well-being among the market women and migrant settlers in the OF community. SMW’s livelihood generation is sustained through social relations among women, in which also age, ethnicity and regional background play crucial roles. SMW give support to and receive benefits from the community through moral obligations and ethnic commitment. The analysis of these strategies contributes to the understanding of the intersections of household, livelihood strategies, gender and markets in urban settings.

    In Accra, these women not only need to find income earning activities, they also have to reinvent themselves as consumers because of the abundant and varied consumption options in Accra as compared to the North. Through consumption of food, hairdos and leisure activities, they shape their new urban identities. However, through consumption they also try to secure the desired next phase in their life course. Despite earning very modest amounts of money with activities such as hawking or food vending, SMW save for their future and adapt their consumption to enable such savings. They save in money and in kind, buying items to set up their own hearths in the North for the preparation of meals, an iconic married woman’s activity, and to be able to enter a preferred, i.e. religious, marriage. They also spend money on dressing, styling their hairdos and looking good in order to attract suitable marriage candidates. Alternatively, the successful older women in the market place invest in conspicuous consumption to enact their informal position of ‘market mummies’, women who are well established and suitable mentors to more recent arrivals. The women shape their own life courses through consumption. The consumption practices SMW engage in are crucial for understanding the dynamics of single migrant women’s agency.

    After migration, SMW are more likely to exert influence on the timing of their marriage and the choice of the partner. In the place of origin there are transformations of the gendered subjectivities women experience after having produced livelihoods away from home. The investigation of the reintegration experience of SMW who return to their place of origin revealed the everyday experience of returned migrant women within their households in rural northern Ghana. The study found the household to be an ‘arena of everyday life’; the word arena indicates dynamics and even struggle. These are visible in the provision for daily needs, and also in the income generating activities the women try to initiate to exercise their agency in generating livelihood. In this household arena, we recognized the gender dynamics around decision-making on livelihood generation as key to under­standing the reintegration experience of returned migrant women. The analysis drew on feminist geographers’ insights of gender as process situated in a specific place. Critical attention was paid to how gender and household are co-constituted, to shed light on the multiple and contradictory ways in which gender, livelihood, and household are constructed.

    Applying the lens of gender as situated process enabled capturing the significance of everyday micro transformations, resulting in a framework that wove together the domains of gender, household and livelihood. Contingent formations of intra-household dynamics revealed variations in the ways subjection and activation are enacted. The boundaries of women’s triple shifts (household work, farming, income generation) are not fixed but are constantly negotiated. On an everyday basis women have to juggle multiple subjectivities, such as being wives, daughters-in-law, mothers and petty commodity producers and traders. They do the work their husbands and senior women require them to do in order to secure their marriage, which is considered a lifelong security in this specific context, but they try to set limits to this work.

    The general conclusion this study highlights is that the young women in the North successfully negotiate to realize their aspirations to migrate and, upon return, both subject themselves to the domestic and patriarchal order and contest it by using the means and skills they acquired to improve their bargaining position. This causes cracks in the prevailing order, which suggest the malleability of the patriarchal system. The observed processes underpin the relevance of conceptualising migration as an intrinsic factor in broader processes of development and social transformation.

    Does tenure security matter? : rural household responses to land tenure reforms in northwest China
    Ma Xian lei, Xianlei - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ekko van Ierland; X. Shi; Nico Heerink; Justus Wesseler. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789461737632 - 195
    agrarische economie - pachtstelsel - platteland - landbouwhuishoudens - landhervorming - grondeigendom - particuliere investering - eigendomsrechten - ruraal-urbane migratie - grondproductiviteit - conservering - china - noordwestelijk china - agricultural economics - tenure systems - rural areas - agricultural households - land reform - land ownership - private investment - property rights - rural urban migration - land productivity - conservation - china - north western china
    Het hoofddoel van China’s landbouw- en plattelandsbeleid is behoud van voedselzekerheid in eigen land en bijdragen aan de voedselzekerheid in de wereld door duurzaam gebruik van natuurlijke hulpbronnen en verbetering van de landbouwproductiecapaciteit voor de lange termijn. In veel gebieden in China gaat de landbouwproductiecapaciteit op lange termijn echter achteruit door intensieve landbouw en de daarmee gepaard gaande degradatie van de hulpbronnen land en water. Het systeem van grondeigendom speelt, als fundamentele institutie die het gedrag van grondbezitters aanstuurt, een zeer belangrijke rol bij de landbouwproductie alsook bij het gebruik van natuurlijke hulpbronnen, en heeft veel belangstelling genoten van onderzoekers in China en andere regio’s in de wereld. Sinds 1998 heeft de Chinese regering een reeks marktgeoriënteerde hervormingen in het grondeigendom ingevoerd die als doel hebben de eigendomszekerheid te verbeteren en de overdraagbaarheid van rurale grond te bevorderen. Relevante wetten behelzen de Wet Grondbeheer (Land Administration Law) uit 1998, de Wet Contracten Rurale Grond (Rural Land Contract Law) uit 2002, de Eigendomswet (Property Law) uit 2007, en de Wet Mediation en Arbitrage bij Geschillen inzake Contracten Rurale Grond (Mediation and Arbitration of Rural Land Contract Disputes Law) uit 2009. Ofschoon deze hervormingen bijgedragen hebben aan een verbeterde formele eigendomszekerheid, is het niet duidelijk in welke mate ze bijdragen aan landbouwproductie en duurzaam gebruik van de grond. In deze studie worden systematisch de relaties onderzocht tussen grondeigendomszekerheid, zoals die wordt beïnvloed door de recente marktgeoriënteerde eigendomshervormingen, en de landbouwproductie in China. Op basis van de bestaande literatuur worden er vier relaties onderzocht, namelijk de relaties tussen eigendomszekerheid en, respectievelijk, grondinvesteringen, marktontwikkelingen betreffende grondpacht, ruraal-urbane migratie, en landbouwproductiviteit en technische efficiëntie. De resultaten van de studie beogen een volledig beeld te verschaffen van de belangrijkste relaties tussen grondeigendomszekerheid, beslissingen op het niveau van huishoudingen, en de landbouwproductiviteit in China. Naar verwachting zullen de verkregen inzichten relevant zijn voor de voortgaande hervormingen van het rurale grondeigendomsysteem en voor gerelateerd landbouw- en plattelandsbeleid in China. Ze zouden tevens van nut kunnen blijken voor andere ontwikkelingslanden met vergelijkbare eigendomsystemen die als doel hebben om huishoudens op het platteland te voorzien van gewaarborgde formele landgebruiksrechten voor de lange termijn.
    Going places, staying home : rural-urban connections and the significance of land in Buhera district, Zimbabwe
    Andersson, J.A. - \ 2002
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.E. Long; van Donge. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789058085535 - 175
    arbeidsmobiliteit - migrantenarbeid - ruraal-urbane migratie - urbanisatie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - sociologie - etnografie - relaties tussen stad en platteland - stedelijke samenleving - zimbabwe - labour mobility - migrant labour - rural urban migration - urbanization - rural urban relations - urban society - rural communities - sociology - ethnography - zimbabwe - cum laude
    This book consists of four articles containing detailed ethnographic studies of people who are commonly known as migrant workers.Conventional studies on rural-urban migration and urbanisation have often examined such people in either rural or urban social situations,analysing respectively the consequences of out-migration for the rural society and its agriculture-based economy,or the adoption of urbanised life styles in cities.As a consequence, such studies have tend to reproduce common oppositions associated with the distinction between the rural and the urban,such as traditional-modern, conservative-progressive,continuity-change,peasants-workers,etc. Oppositions that,at the same time,present us with a common development perspective on the relation between the urban and the rural -i.e.that of state- directed modernisation.This thesis on migrant workers travelling back and forth between the rural district of Buhera and Harare,Zimbabwe 's capital, takes issue with such oppositions in our thinking about development.The studies show that Buhera migrants do not live in two separate -rural and urban -social worlds.Rather,it is argued that this migrant society comprises of a single cultural space,stretching different geographical spaces -i.e.Buhera society has to be understood as translocal.
    The method of enquiry adopted in the studies is best captured by the notion of travelling.Buhera migrants were followed both spatially and temporally - in their travels towards and within town,as well as back in time,to understand their history.As a consequence,it is possible to move beyond an image of a 'culture 'fragmented by mobility or moving between different - rural and urban -cultural spaces.To the Buhera migrants studied,distinctions between rural and urban social life do not seem to be important,let alone problematic.Not confined to a particular area,this society of migrants was understood as translocal,spanning different geographical spaces while at the same time constituting a single cultural space.Buhera as a geographical space remained nevertheless important,albeit not as the context of social life, constituting a cultural space or territory,but rather as a point of identification, evoking a sense of belonging.It is this 'being Buheran 'which the analyses in this book focus upon,revealing its significance for the ways in which people organise their livelihoods,thereby reproducing their Buheran identity.

    Chapter 2
    This chapter discusses the power of the state and its representatives to impose their self-produced categories of thought,arguing that this poses a major problem to the historiography of Zimbabwe,which has attributed the colonial state a dominant role in directing social change.Relying heavily on the colonial state 's own archival sources,historical analysis have often taken as unproblematic the relation between knowledge about,and control over, African societies as presented in these archival sources.This chapter challenges this hegemonic view of the colonial state in Zimbabwe,building upon the historical analysis of a rather marginal area.In the early colonial period the Buhera district was designated an African Reserve as white settlers had little interest in its dry and sandy soils.As a result of this lack of interest, historical sources on the area are largely confined to reports made by colonial officials.However,the reports do contain observations of local-level administrators that allow for a different interpretation of the state 's control over its subjects and its role in directing social change.Following the shifting biases in colonial policy discourse -from a preoccupation with the mobilisation of African labour to the modernisation of African land use -this paper shows how,with the expansion of state intervention in the area,Buhera society came to represent traditional African society.Yet,this image of Buhera in the 'controlled 'administrative order of colonial reports increasingly defied the reality of social life experienced on the ground.The historical analysis of Buhera district thus suggests a different perspective on the colonial state. Zimbabwean historiography has generally focused on areas that experienced dramatic confrontations between Europeans (settlers and administrators)and Africans -areas for which sufficient and well-classified archive material is available.Consequently,the role of the state tends to be overestimated, regional differences ignored,and the complexity of the African opposition to the colonial state oversimplified.

    Chapter 3
    In the academic debate on labour migration and urbanisation in Southern Africa the persistence of links between urban workers and people in rural areas has proved a pertinent issue.As is implied by the termlabour migrationeconomic forces have always been regarded as a major determinant of migratory behaviour.State-centred perspectives have dominated studies of rural-urban migration in Zimbabwe,where a restrictive legal regulated migration to urban centres during the colonial era in an attempt to prevent large numbers of Africans becoming permanent town dwellers.This ethnographic study of labour migrants in Harare originating from the Buhera district,however,shifts away from perspectives that reduce migratory behaviour to an effect of state intervention and/or economic forces.Such external forces are mediated by migrants 'networks that encompass both rural and urban localities.Rather than being only economically motivated, individual migrants 'participation in these networks has to be understood as an expression of a socio-cultural pattern in which rural identification and kinship ideology are of major importance.Viewing migration practices in this way -i.e.as observable outcomes of migrants 'socio-cultural dispositions -not only helps us to understand better the preferences that motivate economic behaviour but also challenges conventional perspectives in which the rural and urban are often viewed as distinct social worlds and the urbanisation process as part of a wider evolutionary development or transition towards a modern class society.

    Chapter 4
    Conflicts over land,a major theme in Zimbabwe 's rural history,are widely recognized as 'most serious 'in the densely populated Communal Areas. Pressure on land in these areas is considerable because of population growth and the segregationist policies of the colonial government that concentrated Africans on marginal lands.Land scarcity in the Communal Areas does not, however,mean that conflicts over land are always economically motivated.As the agricultural potential of land is often limited in Communal Areas,land cases may often be better understood as socially induced.This article on land disputes in the Murambinda area of Save Communal Land aims to elucidate the different meanings attached to land.It presents a situational analysis of a single case of land dispute and argues that land conflicts in the area are predominantly political power struggles.The litigation of land cases is dominated by village leaders (vanasabhuku)and largely takes place outside the state 's legal arena.Consequently,local state institutions responsible for land issues have a limited understanding of,and exercise little control over land issues.The findings of this study thus provide a different view in the ongoing debate on the need for tenurial reform in Zimbabwe 's Communal Areas,for they challenge the state 's administrative capacity to enforce such reform.

    Recent studies of witchcraft and sorcery in Africa,have described this domain as an all powerful and inescapable discourse.The anthropological case study presented in this chapter,however,discloses a situation in which people contest the interpretation and narratives of this domain,and challenge its applicability.Focusing on the social practices in which the witchcraft discourse is produced,the approach taken is similar to anthropological approaches that have viewed the witchcraft discourse as a device to attribute meaning in situations of existential insecurity.In a society of migrant labourers working in Harare,but originating from the rural district of Buhera,Zimbabwe,such insecurities are all too real.Many people are confronted with HIV/AIDS- related illnesses and death -euphemistically called Henry the IV (HIV). However,witchcraft accusations do not become acute because of the AIDS pandemic -for which the 'modern 'biomedical episteme has few explanations or cures -but rather,are concurrent with it.The existential insecurities which give rise to witchcraft accusations in this society,originate within the kin- based networks which span rural and urban geographical areas.In contrast with contemporary studies analysing witchcraft in so-called 'modern 'contexts such as the city,the market and state politics,this chapter thus stresses the important link between witchcraft and kinship.It analyses which social relationships are prone to witchcraft allegations,and how the discourse is contested.Thus,it identifies how the witchcraft discourse is given a place relative to other social phenomena.It is shown that this migrant society the domain of the occult is not geographically localised -in a relatively closed rural society -but translocal.Migrants in town are not free from the witchcraft of their rural kin.
    The perspective on rural-urban connections and the significance of land put forward in this thesis,is of wider significance.In the last chapter it is argued that received wisdom about the role of the land in understanding Zimbabwe 's history and contemporary politics may be limited since -as was elaborated for Buhera -it is based on the common oppositions associated with the rural- urban distinction.The discussion,which takes news reports on Zimbabwe 's political and economic crisis at the turn of the 21
    stcentury as a starting point, critically reviews two common discourses on Zimbabwe's history and current crisis.One,the dominant discourse,focuses on the rural land as the source of wealth and development.This political economy-inspired discourse situates Zimbabwe 's crisis in theruraleconomy,in the highly uneven distribution of the best agricultural land.It stresses the productive value of land.The other discourse,which may be typified as a counter-discourse,presents us with a rather different image -i.e.that of an industrializing economy in decline. Blaming the state for its economic mismanagement and focusing exclusively on economic parameters of the current crisis,this discourse is of limited use for our understanding of the current political dynamic in which non-economic values of land play such an important role.As the studies in this thesis have shown,the stress on the economic value of land has,perhaps,prevented us from understanding the socio-cultural and political value of land in Zimbabwe.
    Leefbaar Platteland.
    Hidding, M.C. - \ 1997
    Tijdschrift voor sociaalwetenschappelijk onderzoek van de landbouw 12 (1997)2. - ISSN 0921-481X - p. 183 - 188.
    plattelandsplanning - plattelandsontwikkeling - sociale economie - sociologie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - levensomstandigheden - ruimtelijke ordening - ruraal-urbane migratie - urbanisatie - economische planning - rural planning - rural development - socioeconomics - sociology - rural communities - living conditions - physical planning - rural urban migration - urbanization - economic planning
    Commentaar op het artikel "Het ruraal systeem; vragen bij herkenbaarheid en leefbaarheid" van K. Lhermitte uit het Tijdschrift voor Sociaal Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek van de Landbouw 12(1997) nr. 2
    Burkina Faso : analyse sociologique
    Bonfiglioli, A.M. - \ 1986
    Wageningen : Centrum voor Agriobiologisch Onderzoek (Verslagen / Centrum voor Agrobiologisch Onderzoek ) - 35
    rurale sociologie - ruraal-urbane migratie - agrarische structuur - overheidsbeleid - landgebruik - dierhouderij - burkina faso - veranderingen in de bevolking - rural sociology - rural urban migration - agricultural structure - government policy - land use - animal husbandry - population change
    Vijftig jaar HVP, vijftig jaar 'demografische' veranderingen
    Hoog, C. de - \ 1985
    In: Huishouding, voorlichting en wetenschap : 50 jaar Stichting voor Huishoudelijke en Consumentenvoorlichting - HVP / de Lange, G.A., Zelvelder - van der Laan, C.T., Burema, J.P., - p. 83 - 89.
    informatiediensten - adviescentra - ruraal-urbane migratie - urbanisatie - huishoudens - gezinnen - statistiek - huishoudkunde - information services - advisory centres - rural urban migration - urbanization - households - families - statistics - home economics
    Invloed van de urbanisatie en veranderende gezinssamenstelling op de oorspronkelijke doelgroep (=agrarische bevolking) van de HVP
    Trek naar de stad (landvlucht) : 1964 - 1967
    Anonymous, - \ 1967
    Wageningen : [s.n.] (Literatuurlijst / Centrum voor landbouwpublikaties en landbouwdocumentatie no. 2897)
    bibliografieën - kolonialisme - kolonisatie - ruimtelijke ordening - politiek - ontvolking van het platteland - ruraal-urbane migratie - nederzetting - urbanisatie - bibliographies - colonialism - colonization - physical planning - politics - rural depopulation - rural urban migration - settlement - urbanization
    Verstedelijking van het platteland als sociaal verschijnsel
    Visser, M.A.J. - \ 1963
    's-Gravenhage : Landbouw-Economisch Instituut (Overdrn. Landbouw-Economisch Instituut no. 12) - 10
    sociologie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - ruraal-urbane migratie - urbanisatie - nederland - sociology - rural communities - rural urban migration - urbanization - netherlands
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