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Reinventing Africa? The Negotiation of Ethnic Identities in the New African Religious Diaspora

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Chapter Summary

The challenges of defining 'Africa' affect how we identify and analyze African identities, ethnicities, religious cultures; but also the new African religious diaspora. Africans and their religious communities in diaspora constitute a diverse community, the process of diasporic identity construction and negotiation is complex, sometimes resulting in the ethnicisation of the new African diaspora. This chapter explores how and in what way(s) ethnic identities are constructed and negotiated within the new African religious diaspora. Associational life in diaspora, in form of churches and religious ethnic associations, provides an important social environment for survival and nurture of immigrants abroad. The chapter explores processes of ethnic identity construction and negotiation as integral to citizenship and nationality discourses in Europe. It demonstrates how current public discourses of citizenship and nationality shape the ways the notion of citizenship is often perceived, constructed and reconstructed by immigrants within the new African religious diaspora.

Keywords: African religious diaspora; diverse community; ethnic identities; religious cultures; social environment



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