Migrants and Strangers in an African City

Migrants and Strangers in an African City

Exile, Dignity, Belonging
Bruce Whitehouse
Distribution: World
Publication date: 2/22/2012
Format: paper 288 pages, 5 b&w illus., 1 map
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-00082-8
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Description

In cities throughout Africa, local inhabitants live alongside large populations of “strangers.” Bruce Whitehouse explores the condition of strangerhood for residents who have come from the West African Sahel to settle in Brazzaville, Congo. Whitehouse considers how these migrants live simultaneously inside and outside of Congolese society as merchants, as Muslims in a predominantly non-Muslim society, and as parents seeking to instill in their children the customs of their communities of origin. Migrants and Strangers in an African City challenges Pan-Africanist ideas of transnationalism and diaspora in today’s globalized world.

Author Bio

Bruce Whitehouse is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Lehigh University.

Reviews

"A worthy contribution to the growing fields of immigration studies, transnationalism, and globalization and a very readable analysis of the dynamics of contemporary life in an African city." —Phyllis M. Martin, Indiana University

"An excellent example of multisited research projects in an age of globalization. . . . Highly recommended." —
Choice

"Migrants and Strangers in an African City is very well written and, simultaneously, it is engaging in important scholarly debate while remaining accessible. To a large extent, the book benefits immensely from the author's demonstrated deep ethnographic knowledge of both the home and host countries." —African and Asian Studies

"Whitehouse’s ethnography is an often surprising and carefully argued book.

" —Inside Story

"[A]n in-depth study that provokes more questions about other migrants in other settings across the continent. It opens a window on the motivations, lives, achievements and frustrations that affect so many Africans, and it is a story well worth reading about." —New Books in African Studies

"Even though the book does not conclusively resolve the 'stranger-ness' of West African migrants in Brazzaville, it uncovers fascinating aspects of migrant social life that often remain outside the limelight of academic attention. . . . [It is] an interesting read for students of African Studies as well as those interested in broader socio-economic transformations on the African continent." —Africa

"Bruce Whitehouse has produced an important volume that examines the settlement of West African migrants in Brazzaville and sets out to explain why their integration into Congolese society has been so limited." —Ethnic and Racial Studies

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Exile Knows No Dignity
1. The Avenue of Sergeant Malamine
2. Enterprising Strangers
3. Among the Unbelievers
4. The Stranger's Code
5. Transnational Kinship
6. Children of Exile
Conclusion: The Anchoring of Identities
Epilogue: Displaced Dreams
Appendix 1. Notes on Methods
Appendix 2. Survey Results
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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