Transnational union between Malagasy women and non-Malagasy men: compelling attraction on sex, affect, money and power

Project description

This research will provide an explorative analysis of transnational life partners composed of Malagasy women and French citizen men, dealing with mixed couples’ imagination and reality. It aims to identify the key factors that influence people to be in interracial relationships and to analyse the cumulative effects of such union on their person. Sex, romance, material incentives and power are the frameworks that will be used as indicators. Predominantly, it focuses on mixed couples who had been together for two to 10 years, co-habiting temporarily or permanently, between Madagascar and La Réunion. Thanks to mixed methods, quantitative approaches will allow the categorization of data about the personal changes occasioned by the relationship, and qualitative methods will deliver an expanded response regarding the aforementioned parameters. The three and a half years study project will inform about the agency of the person involved with such a relationship and will especially expose the plurality of transnational intimacies as a place of constant negotiations, affecting an individual’s personhood in the long term.

Supervisor:Prof. Dr. George Paul Meiu
Co-Supervisor(s): to be determined

Short bio

Sedrarinoro Claudine Rakotomanana is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Social Anthropology of the University of Basel (supervisor Prof. George Paul Meiu), a doctoral study funded by the Humer Foundation for academic talent. Previously, she earned a Master’s degree in Population and Development (Université Catholique de Madagascar, 2015) in which, she conducted research on higher education in Madagascar as a contemporary problem. She also graduated from the University of Cologne (2021) in the Master’s program, Culture and Environment in Africa. She completed that second MA by studying the topic of discursive silence in the Malagasy context, in relation to migration discourses in urban areas of North-western Madagascar.

She has worked as a research assistant and was a lecturer at the University of Cologne. Her research focus addresses the sociolinguistic features of non-verbal cues of silence language strategy, the resilience of youth in higher education in Madagascar and the transnationality of mixed couples and the social constructions of their union. She currently works as a project assistant under the supervision of Prof. George Paul Meiu.


Claudine Rakotomanana
PhD Candidate
Institute of Social Anthropology
University of Basel
Münsterplatz 19
4051 Basel