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Open Access Building Up Belonging: Diasporic “Homecomers”, the Ghanaian Government and Traditional Rulers: A Case of Return*

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Building Up Belonging: Diasporic “Homecomers”, the Ghanaian Government and Traditional Rulers: A Case of Return*

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[Abstract This essay analyzes the political dynamics involved in the construction of belonging in the case of African Americans’ “return” from the diaspora generated by the Atlantic slave trade to a town in Southern Ghana. Given the articulated belief of common ancestral origins, such arrival was initially welcomed by all the three groups of actors involved: the returnees , the local authorities, divided by a chieftaincy dispute, and the Ghanaian government that was supporting homecoming policies. The concepts of origins and kinship and the way to validate them, though, were differently conceived by the various political actors; furthermore each of them held dissimilar reasons and had different expectations behind this return. All these differences created a mutual, mutable and dynamic relation between the actors who were involved in the arrival and aimed to assert their authority., Abstract This essay analyzes the political dynamics involved in the construction of belonging in the case of African Americans’ “return” from the diaspora generated by the Atlantic slave trade to a town in Southern Ghana. Given the articulated belief of common ancestral origins, such arrival was initially welcomed by all the three groups of actors involved: the returnees , the local authorities, divided by a chieftaincy dispute, and the Ghanaian government that was supporting homecoming policies. The concepts of origins and kinship and the way to validate them, though, were differently conceived by the various political actors; furthermore each of them held dissimilar reasons and had different expectations behind this return. All these differences created a mutual, mutable and dynamic relation between the actors who were involved in the arrival and aimed to assert their authority.]

Affiliations: 1: University of Milano-Bicocca Italy gaiadelpino@yahoo.it

[Abstract This essay analyzes the political dynamics involved in the construction of belonging in the case of African Americans’ “return” from the diaspora generated by the Atlantic slave trade to a town in Southern Ghana. Given the articulated belief of common ancestral origins, such arrival was initially welcomed by all the three groups of actors involved: the returnees , the local authorities, divided by a chieftaincy dispute, and the Ghanaian government that was supporting homecoming policies. The concepts of origins and kinship and the way to validate them, though, were differently conceived by the various political actors; furthermore each of them held dissimilar reasons and had different expectations behind this return. All these differences created a mutual, mutable and dynamic relation between the actors who were involved in the arrival and aimed to assert their authority., Abstract This essay analyzes the political dynamics involved in the construction of belonging in the case of African Americans’ “return” from the diaspora generated by the Atlantic slave trade to a town in Southern Ghana. Given the articulated belief of common ancestral origins, such arrival was initially welcomed by all the three groups of actors involved: the returnees , the local authorities, divided by a chieftaincy dispute, and the Ghanaian government that was supporting homecoming policies. The concepts of origins and kinship and the way to validate them, though, were differently conceived by the various political actors; furthermore each of them held dissimilar reasons and had different expectations behind this return. All these differences created a mutual, mutable and dynamic relation between the actors who were involved in the arrival and aimed to assert their authority.]

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/content/journals/10.1163/187254611x606409
2011-01-01
2016-07-26

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