Imagined futures: the onward migration of Nigerians in Europe

Ahrens, Jill (2017) Imagined futures: the onward migration of Nigerians in Europe. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Dynamic mobility and migration patterns, including forced migration, have always formed part of the complex social, cultural and economic relationships between Africa and Europe. Like other Africans, Nigerian migrants live in countless locations around the world and are connected to their homeland through contingent transnational networks. This thesis explores the onward migration of Nigerian migrants towards, within and beyond Europe and analyses the motivations, patterns and outcomes of their multiple movements.
Six cities in Germany, the UK and Spain are the main research locations for the fieldwork that took place over 17 months. The three countries are important destinations for Nigerian migrants in Europe and also the principal destinations of intra-European onward migrants. The cities included in this study are the capital cities Berlin, London and Madrid, as well as Cologne, Manchester and Málaga. The multi-sited fieldwork comprised ethnographic research techniques involving in-depth interviews (to gather information about the motivations and experiences of onward migrants) and participant observation (to understand the contexts in which mobility practices were embedded), which were complemented with analysis of the 2011 Census data and other secondary statistical data (to explore general migration patterns and socio-demographic data).
Onward migration is conceptualised as a function of aspirations and capabilities, thus highlighting how evolving structures of opportunities and constraints can influence social and geographical trajectories. The findings suggest that migrant decision-making and trajectories are open-ended and unfold across the life course and the migration project. Furthermore, onward migrants engage in sustained multi-sited transnationalism which influences their complex mobility patterns and identity formation. Rather than focusing on migrants’ integration at a destination or their contribution to development in their origin country, as is common in migration studies, this study uses the wellbeing approach to holistically explore how migrants and their families experience onward migration in different places and countries. Their perceptions of wellbeing are multi-dimensional and relational, shaped both by previous, present and anticipated future states of wellbeing.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography > HB0848 Demography. Population. Vital events > HB1951 Population geography. Migration
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2019 14:14
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 09:54

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