ISBN 9789956762934
Pages 440
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2017
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

"Les Mbengis"-Migration, Gender, and Family

The moral economy of transnational Cameroonian migrants' remittances

by Christina Atekmangoh

This book is about transnational migration (familiarly called “bushfalling”) and remittance flows to Cameroon. With the current dire economic state, Cameroonians increasingly aspire to go abroad to make a living. Migrants achieve this through a collective (family) strategy and with the help of migration brokers. Relations between migrants and the family that stays in Cameroon can be characterized as follows: Families raise and educate their children to become adults. In return to giving their children the “gift of life”, families expect reciprocity, best secured through economic success abroad and the sending of remittances by migrants. As families in Cameroon heavily contribute to the funding of migration trajectories, often by selling properties such as land or houses or borrowing money, they also expect a return on their investments.

All that constitutes this study explores under the notion of the moral economy of transnational remittances. In this study, remittances are understood to be a composite of financial, material, and cultural flows—maintaining and transforming social and kinship ties. The book proposes also a large exploration of themes in relation to transnational migration: why and how Cameroonians migrate (the role of the operational family in terms of decision and funding; the role of migration brokers  through the identification of “lines” and the provision of the necessary papers); the moral justification for migration;  the ways social relations and customs are changed by status gained through migration; the ways people explain the failure of migration projects, the difficulties to stay abroad; the matrimonial strategies to go and stay abroad. This is an empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated study that takes thinking on transnational migration informed by African strategies and experiences a step further.

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About the Author

Christina Atekmangoh

Christina Atekmangoh was born in Tiko in the South West Region of Cameroon. She holds a BSc in Women and Gender Studies with Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Buea in Cameroon, an MSc in Development Studies from Lund University in Sweden, and a PhD in Anthropology and Sociology of Development from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland. She is very active in issues on women's rights and gender and her research interests include Migration and Refugees/IDPs as well as Remittances, Development and Gender, and Moral Economy. 

 

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