Browsing The Humanities by Subject "(in)security"
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Item Open AccessPosthuman security and landmines: Gendered meaning-making and materialities in the North-Eastern border area of Zimbabwe(University of the Free State, 2022) Tagarirofa, Jacob; Hudson, H.; Cawood, S.English: This empirical study of landmines, gendered meaning-making and matter in the border area of Mukumbura, Northern Zimbabwe, was inspired by the everyday experiences of men and women as a consequence of their living together with landmines; the prevalence of a conspicuous gap in the human security literature on gendered discourses and human-object relationalities in relation to human security; and the inadequacy of grand security theories on how to overcome this deficiency by means of a feminist posthuman security perspective as analytical tool to study the gendered implications of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) in a post-war setting. These informed the objectives of the study which include, among others, to account for the theoretical shift from Human Security to a feminist posthuman security approach and to develop a theoretical framework supporting the latter; to critically analyse how landmines influence the construction of masculinities, femininities and victimhood in the discourse of peace and security; to critically analyse the role of landmines in gendering socio-economic (in)security in postconflict communities; and to assess how coping mechanisms become gendered through humanlandmine co-existence. The study used a qualitative feminist posthumanist methodology which was ethnographic and reflexive in orientation. Data gathering tools included key-participant interviews, life history narratives and overt participant observation. These data collection tools were strategically chosen as they befit the feminist qualitative methodology that recognises reflexivity in the context of fluid identities. As such, the participants were men and women whose lives were shaped and reshaped by their co-existence with landmines during and after the war of liberation in the border area. Drawing on three key theoretical pillars – the agency of all genders, the agency of objects, as well as taking the African context of intangible objects/spiritualities seriously – the study has shown that human (in)security ought to be understood as a complex, fluid and contextualised phenomenon. The focus of the study on everyday micro-level (in)security has challenged the theoretical prejudices of grand security theories such as Realism, Human Security, Critical Security Studies and Feminist Security Studies, as well as their negation of alternative analytical constructs that (re)frame (in)security at the community level. These included gender, context (Afrocentrism), and the agency of non-human things (tangible/landmines and intangible/spiritualities). Despite the fact that livelihoods, identities and victimhood have all been shown to be gendered in many contexts, the subsequent agency exercised by men and women in their constrained ecologies shows that physical and socio-economic insecurity (vulnerability) transcends gender binaries as both men and women are equally embroiled in the becoming of (in)security in these contexts. Thus, theoretically and empirically, the thesis has demonstrated that it is only through a feminist posthuman approach that we can comprehensively understand that (in)security is a function of the human-object intra-action, since both humans and nonhuman things are co-constituted in co-producing gendered (in)security spaces and practices in post-conflict communities where ERW are still present.