'Why Are You Not Crying?': Understanding Young People’s Transnational Engagements through Funeral Visits to Ghana

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Abstract

This article analyses the ways in which young people with a migration background develop their own transnational engagement with their or their parents' country of origin. Drawing on 17-months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in the Netherlands and Ghana, we add to the emerging literature on 'return' mobilities by analysing young people of Ghanaian background, irrespective of whether they or their parents migrated, and by looking at an under-researched form of mobility that they engage in: that of attending funerals in Ghana. Funerals occupy a central role in Ghanaian society, and thus allow young people to gain knowledge about cultural practices, both by observing and embodying them, and develop their relationships with people in Ghana. Rather than reproducing their parents' transnational attachments, young people recreate these according to their own needs, which involves dealing with tensions. Peer relationships-which have largely gone unnoticed in transnational migration studies-play a significant role in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-118
Number of pages26
JournalAfrican Diaspora
Volume13
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • 2ND-GENERATION
  • GLOBALIZATION
  • Ghana
  • HOME
  • LIVES
  • MIGRANTS
  • MIGRATION
  • RETURN
  • ROOTS
  • THEMES
  • funerals
  • peer relationships
  • the Netherlands
  • transnational attachment
  • transnational engagement
  • youth mobility

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