What were the causes and consequences of labour migration from Mwinilunga District between the 1930s and 1970s? Within Zambian historiography, economic and political aspects of labour migration have received much attention. Labour migration has been analysed within dichotomies of rural-urban, development-underdevelopment or tradition-modernity. Instead, this article proposes to bridge such dichotomies and to foreground the socio-cultural dispositions behind labour migration. If mobility is viewed as a social, rather than a geographical practice, connections and long-term continuities come to light. Through the case of Mwinilunga District the causes, motives and effects of labour migration will be examined. Why did individuals decide to migrate, how did they spend their earnings and did they retain contact with their ‘home’ areas? In Mwinilunga labour migration could function as a strategy to realise aspirations, develop relationships and enhance ones status. It could be a pathway towards wealth, success and personhood. A focus on self-realisation proposes an alternative perspective which places labour migration within the broader context of social connectivity, stressing the variety of migrant trajectories and the interconnections between rural and urban fortunes.
"Wealth, Success, and Personhood: Trajectories of Labour Migration from Mwinilunga District, 1930s-1970s,"
Zambia Social Science Journal: Vol. 4
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/zssj/vol4/iss1/6