MIGRATION THEORIES AND ZIMBABWEAN MIGRANT TEACHERS AS REFLECTED IN A SOUTH AFRICAN CASE STUDY

Inocent MOYO, Melanie NICOLAU, Joan FAIRHURST

Abstract


Neo-classical and neo-Marxist theories oppose each other in terms of explaining motivation for migration and its development impact. Neo-classical theories posit that migration occurs because of economic considerations: higher incomes and economic gain. Neo-Marxist theories emphasize that migration occurs because of unequal and structural levels of development between developed and developing countries, regions or areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa is relatively economically developed compared to other countries in the region and, according to neo-Marxist philosophy, exploits the labour from other poorer countries. In this case study, the focus is on migrant teachers from Zimbabwe. According to neo-Marxist- theories, migrants exist in an exploitative relationship with their host regions and/or countries. Apart from neo-classical and neo-Marxist theories,  pluralist theories  have evolved from these distinctive schools of thought that emphasize that migration is the result of a conscious family decision aimed at diversifying their resource base when faced with crises and/or scarcity, asserting that migration does indeed bring about development. This paper contends that neo-classical theories do apply to the case of Zimbabwean migrant teachers because they satisfactorily explain why these teachers came to South Africa, whereas neo-Marxist theories have limited relevance. Pluralist theories, however, through their emphasis on remittances, add meaning to people’s motivations for, and the consequent impact of development related to this particular aspect of migration.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15551/scigeo.v58i2.155

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ISSN: 1223-5334; eISSN: 2284-6379. Published in Romania

 

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