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Kwarteng, Kirstie Adjoa Benewaa (2023) Sorry For My Left: The Transnational Practices and Identity Formation of Second Generation Ghanaians. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Restricted to Repository staff only until 2 May 2026.


This study is a comparative analysis of the second generation Ghanaian transnational experience, focusing on the experiences of second generation Ghanaians in London, New York City, and Accra. This thesis examines the different transnational practices second generation Ghanaians use to maintain their connections to Ghana and explores the motivating factors that influence their decisions to participate in transnational engagement activities. The core questions that guide this study are i) What transnational practices are constitutive of the second generation Ghanaian diaspora experience? ii) What are the similarities and differences in second generation Ghanaian transnational engagement based on geographic location? iii) How do second generation Ghanaians form their diasporic identities? iv) What is the relationship between diasporic identity and the desire to participate in transnational practices? Literature on second generation transnationalism is growing within the field of migration studies, countering the notion that the second generation is less engaged or not engaged at all with their countries of ancestry. This thesis contributes to this literature by arguing that second generation methods of transnational engagement are different from, not weaker than, first generation methods of transnational engagement. Using a mixed methods approach, the study found that second generation Ghanaians are engaging in diaspora-homeland and diaspora-diaspora transnationalism through a variety of transnational practices including Ghanaian media consumption, creating second generation Ghanaian community organizations, visiting Ghana, and relocating to Ghana. Participation in transnational activities has been heavily influenced by the rise of the internet and social media. These tools have been instrumental in connecting second generation Ghanaians with their peers in Ghana and in different Ghanaian diaspora communities around the world. The study found that identity plays an influential role in why second generation Ghanaians decide to engage in transnational practices. It also found that second generation Ghanaian diasporic identity construction is complex and influenced by a variety of factors including relationships with the prominent Black communities in their countries of residence, their racialized Black identities, ability to speak a Ghanaian language, and their affinity for their national and/or city identity.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Laura Hammond and Anna Lindley
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 05 May 2023 15:46

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