Accepted paper:

Young Ghanaians' mobility trajectories: going 'back home' to gain educational experiences.


Joan van Geel (Maastricht University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates how the mobility trajectories of young Ghanaians, that include engagements in mobilities 'back home', shape their educational experiences. The analyses explores the young Ghanaians' perspectives on what they perceive to gain educationally during these journeys.

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on 20 months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork with 30 young Ghanaians between the age of 16 and 25, this paper investigates how mobility trajectories that include Global North-South mobilities shape young Ghanaians' educational experiences. This paper extends two recent developments in the literature. Youth who are going back to Africa remain an understudied group of today's global mobile population due to a strong focus on Global South-North migration flows. Some notable exceptions, mainly ethnographic studies, focus on children who are being returned to their parents' countries of origin, mainly for educational purposes (e.g. Kea and Maier 2017; Whitehouse 2009). It remains unclear what the personal and societal (dis)advantages of reversed mobility patterns towards Africa are, or which exact mechanisms are instigated during return mobilities that form the educational experiences of young people who engage in multiple mobilities back-and-forth. Through the investigation of young Ghanaians' 'mobility trajectories' that include return mobilities, this paper examines youth's actual physical mobility and lived experiences unfolding during the journeys 'back home'.

panel Soc04
Education and African youth's 'return' mobilities