An analysis of the arrival, settlement and domestic arrangements of South Asian Muslim salon workers in Durban.
This study examines the arrival and settlement of a sample of South Asian Muslim male migrants who are salon owners and salon employees in Durban, South Africa. The increasing visibility of the expansion of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi migrant communities in Durban led to an interest in focusing on those issues which constitute the core of this research, namely: why they migrate, who migrates, how they migrate and arrive here, as well as settle into the work that they do. The broader purpose of this research was to investigate their living arrangements and social dynamics of their working and domestic lives. It also explores the challenges and opportunities that migrants encounter from the time they decide to leave home up until arrival in the country of resettlement and the way in which transnational social ties assist in helping them transcend such obstacles and reap the benefits of available prospects. Central to this project was also the adoption of salon work as a livelihood strategy as well as issues of integration, identity construction and the perceptions of foreign migrants and their enterprises from the view of local salon owners and local customers of foreign owned salons. It shows how migrants remain who they are and how the host society becomes a terrain in which their normative social practices are recreated and enjoyed. The study is anthropological in nature and therefore aims to capture the complexities of the migrant experience from the individuals' perspectives through the use of case studies. As part of the qualitative approach, observations of foreign owned enterprises were conducted, random sampling was used to select participants, and semi-structured interviews made it possible to acquire data. The exploratory goal of the study aims to illustrate that migrants are individuals who leave home with the hope of transforming their dreams and ambitions into a brighter prosperous reality not only for themselves, but more importantly their families too.
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