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Open Access African Home Associations in Britain: Between Political Belonging and Moral Conviviality

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African Home Associations in Britain: Between Political Belonging and Moral Conviviality

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This paper argues that significant analytical and political possibilities for thinking about the African diaspora in Britain are opened up by shifting the analytical lens from ethnicity to place. Drawing on recent research with Cameroonian and Tanzanian home associations in Britain we suggest that the concept of a ‘progressive politics of place’, which distinguishes between ‘political belonging’ and ‘moral conviviality’, can help us to explore the morality of convivial relations in the African diaspora. We highlight the ways in which home associations provide space for debate about what is an intrinsically good way to live together in the diaspora. However, if moral conviviality is about debating the right and wrong ways of living together in a place, then we need to think explicitly about the places inhabited by the diaspora. The paper addresses the ways in which home associations provide a space not only for debate among members, but also a forum for debating how to live in Britain.

Affiliations: 1: London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Geography and Environment LSE, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE UK, Email: c.c.mercer@lse.ac.uk; 2: University College London, Department of Geography UCL, 26 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AP UK, Email: bpage@ucl.ac.uk

This paper argues that significant analytical and political possibilities for thinking about the African diaspora in Britain are opened up by shifting the analytical lens from ethnicity to place. Drawing on recent research with Cameroonian and Tanzanian home associations in Britain we suggest that the concept of a ‘progressive politics of place’, which distinguishes between ‘political belonging’ and ‘moral conviviality’, can help us to explore the morality of convivial relations in the African diaspora. We highlight the ways in which home associations provide space for debate about what is an intrinsically good way to live together in the diaspora. However, if moral conviviality is about debating the right and wrong ways of living together in a place, then we need to think explicitly about the places inhabited by the diaspora. The paper addresses the ways in which home associations provide a space not only for debate among members, but also a forum for debating how to live in Britain.

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/content/journals/10.1163/187254610x505682
2010-01-01
2016-12-06

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