Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2543-3164
  • E-ISSN: 2543-3156
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Based on a long-term ethnography of Sub-Saharan African migrants in Cape Town, South Africa, this article examines how language as ideology and practice shapes the rules of guesting and hosting and helps (re)configure the on-going positionalities of both the nation-state-defined-host and the foreigner-guest, making murky the distinction between the two. The key notion of developed here is examined as rather than as I argue that this theoretical shift makes it possible to unsettle the host and guest positions by not positing them a priori or conceptualizing them as immutable. It likewise makes it possible to deconstruct the categories imposed by the State and by which scholars and policy makers alike abide, such as the dichotomy between and . At a broader level, the paper draws attention to the Occidentalism that has plagued academia, particularly in the work done on migration. I show how the South African case challenges many scholarly assumptions on language and migration overwhelmingly based on the examination of South-to-North migrations, which do not adequately represent worldwide migrations.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ahmed, S.
    (2000) Strange encounters. Embodied others in post-coloniality. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bhabha, H. K.
    (1983) The other question. Screen24 (6), 18–38. 10.1093/screen/24.6.18
    https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/24.6.18 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bauman, Z.
    (1997) Postmodernity and its discontents. New York, NY: New York University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bell, D.
    (2007) Moments of hospitality. InJ. Germann Molz & S. Gibson (Eds.), Mobilizing hospitality: The ethics of social relations in a mobile world (pp.29–46). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bouillon, A.
    (Ed.) (1999) Immigration africaine en Afrique du Sud. Paris: Karthala.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Butler, J., Rotberg, R. I., & Adams, J.
    (1977) The black homelands of South Africa: The political and economic development of Bophuthtswana and Kwa-Zulu. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Chan, W. F.
    (2005) A gift of a pagoda, the presence of a prominent citizen, and the possibilities of hospitality. Environment and Planning Development: Society and Space23, 11–28. 10.1068/d347t
    https://doi.org/10.1068/d347t [Google Scholar]
  8. Conklin, A.
    (1997) A Mission to civilize. The republican idea of empire in France and West Africa, 1895–1930. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Courtine, J.-J.
    (1981) Quelques problèmes théoriques et méthodologiques en analyse du discours. À propos du discours communiste adressé aux Chrétiens. Langages62, 9–128.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Croom, A. M.
    (2013) How to do things with slurs: Studies in the way of derogatory words. Language & Communication, 33, 177–204. 10.1016/j.langcom.2013.03.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2013.03.008 [Google Scholar]
  11. Crush, J., & Ramachandran, S.
    (2014) Xenophobic violence in South Africa: Denialism, minimalism, realism. SAMP, 66.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Danso, R., & Mcdonald, D.
    (2000) Writing xenophobia: Immigration and the print media in post-apartheid South Africa. SAMP, 17.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Dean, W. H. B.
    (1978) A citizen of comparative and international law. Journal of Southern Africa11, 57–67.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Derrida, J.
    (1997) Adieu. À Emmanuel Lévinas. Paris: Galilée.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. (2000a) [1997]. Of hospitality. Anne Dufourmantelle invite Jacques Derrida to respond. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. (2000b) Hostipitality. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities5(3), 3–18. 10.1080/09697250020034706
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09697250020034706 [Google Scholar]
  17. (2005) The principle of hospitality. Parallax11(1), 6–9. 10.1080/1353464052000321056
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1353464052000321056 [Google Scholar]
  18. Dubow, S.
    (1992) Afrikaner nationalism, apartheid and the conceptualization of ‘race’. The Journal of African History33(2), 209–237. 10.1017/S0021853700032217
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853700032217 [Google Scholar]
  19. Duranti, A.
    (1997) Linguistic anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511810190
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511810190 [Google Scholar]
  20. Egero, B.
    (1991) South Africa’s Bantustans. From dumping grounds to battlefronts. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Extra, G., Spotti, M., & van Avenuaet, P.
    (Eds.) (2009) Language testing, migration and citizenship. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Foucault, M.
    (1975) Surveiller et punir. Paris: Gallimard.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Gal, S., & Irvine, J.
    (1995) The boundaries of languages and disciplines: How ideologies construct difference. Social Research62(4), 967–99.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Germann Molz, J., & Gibson, S.
    (Eds.) (2007) Mobilizing hospitality: The ethics of social relations in a mobile world. Aldershot: Ashgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. (Eds.) (2007) Introduction: Mobilizing and mooring hospitality, InJ. Germann Molz & S. Gibson (Eds.), Mobilizing hospitality: The ethics of social relations in a mobile world (pp.1–26). Aldershot: Ashgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Geschiere, P.
    (2009) The perils of belonging. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 10.7208/chicago/9780226289663.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226289663.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  27. Goffman, E.
    (1963) Stigma. Notes on the management of spoiled identity. London: Penguin.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. (1981) Forms of talk. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Hall, E.
    (1989) Inventing the barbarian. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Harries, P.
    (1988) The roots of ethnicity: Discourse and the politics of language construction in South-East Africa. African Affairs87(346), 25–52. 10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a098010
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a098010 [Google Scholar]
  31. Herzfeld, M.
    (1987) ‘As in your own house’: hospitality, ethnography, and the stereotype of Mediterranean society. InD. D. Gilmore (Ed.), Honor and shame and the unity of the Mediterranean (pp.75–89). Washington, DC: American Anthropological Association.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Hlatshwayo, M.
    (2012) COSATU’s attitudes and policies towards external migrants. InS. Buhlungu & M. Tshoaedi (Eds.), Cosatu contested legacy (pp.228–258). Cape Town: HRSC Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Hogan-Brun, G., Mar-Molinero, C., & Stevenson, P.
    (Eds.) (2009) Discourses on language and integration: Critical perspective on language testing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/dapsac.33
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.33 [Google Scholar]
  34. Hudson, N.
    (2004) ‘Hottentots’ and the evolution of European racism. Journal of European Studies34(4), 308–332. 10.1177/0047244104048701
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0047244104048701 [Google Scholar]
  35. Hall, E.
    (1989) Inventing the barbarian. Greek self-definition through tragedy. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Inoue, M.
    (2003) The listening subject of Japanese modernity and his auditory double: Citing, sighting, and siting the modern Japanese woman. Cultural Anthropology18(2), 156–93. 10.1525/can.2003.18.2.156
    https://doi.org/10.1525/can.2003.18.2.156 [Google Scholar]
  37. Irvine, J. T.
    (1993) Mastering African languages: The politics of linguistics in nineteenth-century Senegal. Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice33, 27–46.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Kriel, M.
    (2010) Culture and power: the rise of Afrikaner nationalism revisited. Nations and Nationalism16(3), 402–422. 10.1111/j.1469‑8129.2010.00443.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8129.2010.00443.x [Google Scholar]
  39. Lévi-Strauss, C.
    (1987 [1952]) Race et histoire. Paris: Folio.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Lory, G.
    (1998) L’Afrique du Sud. Paris: Karthala.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Martin, D.-C.
    (1998) What’s in the name ‘coloured’?Social Identities4(3), 523–540. 10.1080/13504639851753
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13504639851753 [Google Scholar]
  42. Maryns, K.
    (2006) The asylum speaker: Language in the Belgian asylum procedure. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Mauss, M.
    (1934) Les techniques du corps. Journal de psychologieXXXII(3–4), 271–93.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. McNamara, T.
    (2005) 21st century shibboleth: Language tests, identity and intergroup conflict. Language Policy, 4, 351–370. 10.1007/s10993‑005‑2886‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10993-005-2886-0 [Google Scholar]
  45. Molteno, F.
    (1977) The historical significance of the Bantustan strategy. Social Dynamics, 3(2), 15–33. 10.1080/02533957708458200
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02533957708458200 [Google Scholar]
  46. Papastergiadis, N.
    (2000) The turbulence of migration. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Neocosmos, M.
    (2006) From ‘foreign natives’ to ‘native foreigners’: Explaining xenophobia in post-apartheid South Africa: Citizenship and nationalism, identity and politics. Dakar: CODESRIA.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Posel, D.
    (2001) Race as common sense: Racial classification in twentieth-century South Africa. African Studies Review44(2), 87–113. 10.2307/525576
    https://doi.org/10.2307/525576 [Google Scholar]
  49. Reitzes, M.
    (1995) Insiders and outsiders: The reconstruction of citizenship in South Africa. Policy Review Series, 8(1). Centre for Policy Studies, Johannesburg.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Raven-Hart, R.
    (1971) Cape of good hope 1652–1702: The first fifty years of Dutch colonization. Cape Town: A. A. Balkema.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Rosa, J., & Flores, N.
    (2017) Unsettling race and language: Toward a raciolinguistic perspective. Language in Society46, 621–647. 10.1017/S0047404517000562
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404517000562 [Google Scholar]
  52. Rosello, M.
    (2001) Postcolonial hospitality: The immigrant as guest. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Sichone, O.
    (2002) The making of Makwerekwere: East Africans in Cape Town. SAPEM14(8), 35–40.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Tobias, S.
    (2012) Neoliberal globalization and the politics of migration in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of International & Global Studies4(1), 1–16.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Valentine, G.
    (2008) Living with difference: Reflections on geographies of encounter. Progress in human geography32(3), 323–337. 10.1177/0309133308089372
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0309133308089372 [Google Scholar]
  56. Van Rensburg, C.
    (1999) Afrikaans and apartheid. International Journal of the Sociology of Language136, 77–96. 10.1515/ijsl.1999.136.77
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.1999.136.77 [Google Scholar]
  57. Vigouroux, C. B.
    (2005) “There are no Whites in Africa”: Territoriality, language and identity among Francophone Africans in Cape Town. Language & Communication25, 237–255. 10.1016/j.langcom.2005.03.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2005.03.002 [Google Scholar]
  58. (2008) “The smuggling of La Francophonie”: Francophone Africans in Anglophone Cape Town (South Africa). Language in Society37, 415–434. 10.1017/S0047404508080561
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404508080561 [Google Scholar]
  59. (2017) Rethinking (un)skilled migrants: Whose skills, what skills, for what and for whom?InS. Canagarajah (Ed.), Routledge handbook of migration and language (pp.312–329). London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315754512‑18
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315754512-18 [Google Scholar]
  60. (2018) Toward a sociolinguistics of modern Sub-Saharan African South-South migrations. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Vigouroux, C. B., & Mufwene, S. S.
    (To appear). Do linguists need economics and economists linguistics?InC. B. Vigouroux & S. S. Mufwene Eds. Bridging linguistics and economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Wimmer, A., & Glick Schiller, N.
    (2002) Methodological nationalism and beyond: Nation-state building, migration and the social sciences. Global Networks2, 301–334. 10.1111/1471‑0374.00043
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0374.00043 [Google Scholar]
  63. Wolff, E. H.
    (2017) Language ideologies and the politics of language in post-colonial Africa. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus51, 1–22. 10.5842/51‑0‑701
    https://doi.org/10.5842/51-0-701 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): hospitality; language practices and ideologies; migration; Occidentalism; South Africa
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error