Intimate remittances: Marriage, migration, and MoneyGram in Senegal
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© 2016, Indiana University. All rights reserved. The impact of remittances to Senegal from overseas migrants is felt on a household, as well as a national, level, in ways that go beyond the merely economic. In this article, I draw on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Senegal and in the Senegalese diaspora to explore the layers of meaning that permeate gifts and money sent from abroad. While remittance practices in transnational marriages—or marriages between Senegalese migrant men and their nonmigrant wives in Senegal—engage Senegalese ideals about husbands as economic providers, they reveal a complicated balance between economic and noneconomic acts of care between spouses in nontransnational marriages. In the absence of other opportunities for spouses to perform gestures of care and affection, these exchanges take on an intensified importance, which often leads to tension, miscommunication, and emotional stress.
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