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“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: The Role of International Maasai Migrants in Rural Sustainable Community Development
International Development Studies, Department of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Willem C. Van Unnikgebouw, Heidelberglaan 2, Room 309A, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
Received: 13 June 2013; in revised form: 5 August 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 27 August 2013
Abstract: While the Maasai have to be among sub-Saharan Africa’s most mobile population due to their traditional transhumant pastoral livelihood strategy, compared with other neighboring ethnic groups they have been relatively late to migrate in substantial numbers for wage labour opportunities. In the community of Elangata Wuas in Southern Kenya, international migration for employment abroad has been very rare but promises to increase in significant numbers with the dramatic rise in education participation and diversification of livelihoods. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research and the specific experiences of the few international migrant pioneers in Elangata Wuas, this paper explores how community members assess the impacts of international migration on community sustainable development. It appears that international migration facilitates, and even exacerbates, inequality, which is locally celebrated, under an ethic of inter-dependence, as sustainable development. Particular attention is paid to the mechanisms of social control employed by community members to socially maintain their migrants as part of the community so that these migrants feel continued pressure and commitment to invest and develop their communities. Such mechanisms are importantly derived from the adaptability and accommodation of culture and the re-invention of tradition.
Keywords: international migration; community sustainable development; globalization; inequality; cultural adaptability; Maasai; Kenya
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Archambault, C.S. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: The Role of International Maasai Migrants in Rural Sustainable Community Development. Sustainability 2013, 5, 3665-3678.
Archambault CS. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: The Role of International Maasai Migrants in Rural Sustainable Community Development. Sustainability. 2013; 5(9):3665-3678.
Archambault, Caroline S. 2013. "“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: The Role of International Maasai Migrants in Rural Sustainable Community Development." Sustainability 5, no. 9: 3665-3678.