Moral Economies of Transactional Sex, Kinship and Female Migration from Mozambique to Europe
The article explores how young Mozambican women's migratory trajectories towards Europe are shaped by sexual relationships with older white men and obligations towards female kin. Triads of exchange between young women known as curtidoras (women enjoying life) and their partners and kin in Maputo are understood through theories of patronage and exchange moralities. Searching for respect, adventure, and consumption in the sexual economy, young women at the same time struggle to ensure their families' well-being by redistributing the money they extract from white men. Sexual-monetary transactions, love, and desire must be understood as part of broader moralities of exchange in which migration to Europe and sending of remittances is also a kinship project. The forms of patronage available in Maputo's sexual economy become stepping stones as well as obstacles to migration northwards.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2014, Vol 20, Issue 2, p. 237-255