Accepted paper:

The Transnational Practices and Middle Class Subjectivities of British Nigeria Youth

Authors:

Pamela Kea (University of Sussex )

Paper short abstract:

Many first and second-generation Nigerian migrants to Britain, who are middle class, are sending their children to be educated in Nigeria. Their transnational practices are central to educational planning, social mobility and the reproduction of middle class subjectivities.

Paper long abstract:

The continued salience of the Africa rising narrative has encouraged the descendants of Nigerian migrants to the West to return to live in Lagos as repatriates. It is within this context that many first and second-generation Nigerian migrants to Britain, who are middle class and aspiring middle class, are sending their children to be educated in Nigeria. Their transnational practices are central to educational planning, mobile livelihoods, social mobility and the (re) production of middle class subjectivities within neo-liberal globalization. Education, as a form of cultural capital, has historically served as a key component of middle-class British and Nigerian subjectivities. I argue that mobility, and the transnational practices that it engenders, lead to accumulation of cultural capital, in the form of education and qualifications, and social capital, in the form of extended friendship and kin networks. Further, it is imperative that they cultivate useful networks in the right milieu; in this sense, boarding schools, as places of privilege and opulence, foster new networks and relations. Finally, analyzing the nature of neoliberal subjectivities, and increasing precarity, is key to understanding some of the attributes - and modes of cultivation - of the middle class.

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