in: Garth Stahl / Yang Zhao (eds.), Migratory Men: Place, Transnationalism and Masculinities, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 174-187
This chapter addresses the evolution of the relationship between masculinity and migration within a Zimbabwean historical, sociocultural, economic and political context. It discusses how migration transitioned from a gender-neutral to a masculinised and, later, feminised activity. The chapter argues that this gendered transition has varied and sometimes contradictory impacts on masculinity. The contradictions stem from men’s differential capacities (or lack thereof) to migrate and convert migration into a resource that can be channelled into performance of normative or socially approved masculinity. The chapter demonstrates how migration potentially resuscitates or erodes aspects of normative masculinity against a backdrop of the protracted economic crisis in Zimbabwe. The interaction between migration and masculinity is observable not only in homosocial relations but also in gender relations within marriages and family life. The chapter accordingly draws attention to contemporary migration, illustrating how its feminisation impacts on men who had hitherto enjoyed a monopoly on migration in the Zimbabwean context. The discussion of migration and masculinity in this chapter draws from qualitative research with Zimbabwean migrants in Germany and South Africa as well as with non-migrants in Zimbabwe.