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Open Access The Moral Economy of the African Diaspora: Citizenship, Networking and Permeable Ethnicity

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The Moral Economy of the African Diaspora: Citizenship, Networking and Permeable Ethnicity

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Scholarship on the African diaspora has documented the legal hurdles African migrants face in acquiring residence and begun to record the religious efflorescence of African Independent churches. Missing, however, is attention to the complex moral assumptions informing African diasporic sociality and claims to citizenship, whether through churches or voluntary associations. The present volume fills this hiatus by theorising the moral economy of citizenship claims and transnational giving. Its contributors explore the underlying ethical assumptions, ideas and practices of African migrants implied by their calls for recognition and the right to work and live in the diaspora, whether or not they possess the required legal documents, and despite being different racially and culturally. We interrogate both the tendency of migrants to encapsulate themselves in religious or home town associations with compatriots or coreligionists, and their expansive horizons and moves towards ‘permeable’ ethnicity, ‘cosmopolitan’ networking and multiculturalism, as they create, imagine and construct the ‘African diaspora’.

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Affiliations: 1: University of St Andrews, Email:; 2: Keele University, School of Sociology and Criminology Keele, Staffs. ST5 5BG UK, Email:


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