The Construction of the Self: Narratives of Rural Migration in Contemporary Namibia

Autore: Bruno Venditto
In: Africa. N.S. I/2,2019
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Abstract

This article explores how Namibian narratives about the experience of rural migrations contribute to the process of personal growth that determines profound transformations of the self. The decision to migrate is often described in the literature as the result of a family strategy to diversify risk and overcome structural constraints. The findings of the study on which this article is premised indicate that there are other personal motives behind the movement. The article thus argues that, while depending on existing social structures and norms, the migrant also struggles to escape from them, balancing the responsibilities towards the family with his/her own plans. The article also intends to show how the experiences and knowledge obtained during the migration process influence the social structure and norms, and contribute to the migrant’s reconstruction of his/her new self.

Keywords: Internal Migration, Namibia, Structure-Agency Dichotomy