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What happens to whiteness upon migration? An examination of the dual transnationalism of White Zimnabwean emigrants

Middernacht, Zdena Khangezile (2023) What happens to whiteness upon migration? An examination of the dual transnationalism of White Zimnabwean emigrants. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100634) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:100634)

Language: English

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This thesis examines the development of dual transnationalism and diasporism among white Zimbabweans, arguing that they are dual transnationals following their – or their families’ - migration to Zimbabwe and their own subsequent emigration elsewhere. Whiteness both complicates and facilitates their movement, and their whiteness, in turn, is affected by their dual transnationalism. This thesis examines these interactions, ultimately examining what happens to whiteness upon migration. ‘Whiteness’ in this thesis is conceptualised as the interplay between power, privilege and identity, whose production and reproduction is historical, contextual, multi-layered and perpetually shifting. The thesis challenges the notion of whiteness as invisible, showing how migration experiences redefine power, privilege and identity to create relativity within whiteness. For white Zimbabwean emigrants, this leads to a subjective visibility of whiteness. The analysis demonstrates how colonial and post-colonial power structures shape individuals’ conceptualisations of their white identity as Euro-centric. Upon emigration from Zimbabwe, those same power structures provoke experiences that position individuals on the periphery of whiteness. This leads to a reconceptualisation of individual identities and the notion of ‘home’ so that white Zimbabweans re-conceptualise themselves as Afro-centric and embrace their hybridity. Thus, the thesis contributes to an understanding of positions of duality, specifically, white Zimbabwean experiences of dual diasporism and dual transnationalism. It draws on a translocational lens on intersectionality; transnationalism, intersectionality and whiteness literature. The research draws on 23 narrative and in-depth interviews with white Zimbabwean emigrants.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Klekowski von Koppenfels, Amanda
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100634
Uncontrolled keywords: migration; transnationalism; whiteness; intersectionality; colonisation
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2023 08:10 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 13:36 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Middernacht, Zdena Khangezile.

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