W004
Mobility, transnational connections and sociocultural change in contemporary Africa

Convenors:
Tilo Grätz (FU Berlin)
Dmitri Bondarenko (Institute for African Studies)
Petr Skalník (University of Hradec Králové)
Location:
4
Start time:
28 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
4

Short abstract:

The workshop addresses contemporary migrations inside Africa and of Africans to Europe, America or elsewhere, their consequences with regard to issues of citizenship, ethnicity, religiosity, new opportunities and aspects of socioeconomic change induced in the respective home and host societies.

Long abstract:

Mobility is a central feature of African societies, creating supra-regional social, political and economic connections and new transnational spaces. The latter also extend beyond the continent, by way of migration of Africans to Europe, North America or elsewhere, the constitution of Diaspora communities and various modes of integration of Africans into the world economy 'from below'. The workshop addresses the political and cultural dimensions of these migratory links with regard to issues of citizenship, ethnicity, religiosity, and aspects of socioeconomic change in the home and host societies. The workshop consists of two sub-sessions. 1. African migration to Europe: enhancing transnational spaces - Migration of Africans to Europe, including flight, refuge; barriers or modes of integration/disintegration - Europeans' perception and acceptance/rejection of African newcomers in every-day practice of communication - Factors promoting or preventing immigrants' adaptation in Europe (educational and professional background, language skills, family status, laws and policy) - Communication with home regions, African Diasporas as network communities within host societies, Diaspora churches 2. Migration, social mobility and moralities - Issues of spatial and social mobility inside Africa - Aspects of social change induced by migration, its moral evaluation in various societies - 'Neotraditionalism', the revival of Africans' interest in 'authenticity', 'truly African' religion, lifestyle) as a reaction to new realities - Africans' visions of the West and globalisation as catalysts of changes in their own societies Presenters are requested to send an extended abstract two weeks prior to the conference.