Soc04
Education and African youth's 'return' mobilities

Convenors:
Hannah Hoechner (University of East Anglia)
Joan van Geel (Maastricht University)
Emma Abotsi (British Sociological Association/ The British Library)
Stream:
Sociology
Location:
Room 29
Session slots:
1
Wednesday 12 June, 14:15 - 16:00

Short abstract:

Transnational families perceive former and/or parental countries of origin as educationally resourceful contexts. Adopting a youth-centric perspective, this panel investigates young Africans' North-South 'return' mobility for the purpose of education.

Long abstract:

Transnational African families perceive former and/or parental countries of origin as educationally resourceful contexts. However, the majority of debates and literature has concentrated on South-North mobilities and the impact of migration on education after migrant youth has settled in the Global North. Yet, the empirical reality of African migrant youth is often characterised by multiple mobilities back-and-forth between their host-and-origin country. Transnational African families 'send back' their children in order to (re-)educate them, to accumulate transnational capital, to inculcate religious sensibilities, to discipline them, or take them on holidays 'back home' during which they become acquainted with historical narratives and knowledge about their 'roots'. Migrant youth also independently undertake these mobilities in the context of their education. We know little about the role of these mobilities in the educational projects of migrant youth. These mobilities are therefore also absent in our conventional conceptualisations and theorisations of migrant youth's education. This is remarkable since mobility has received significant academic attention and is increasingly framed as an enriching element in the educational projects of Global Northern students. How do these mobility trajectories of migrant youth broaden our understanding of an 'enriching educational experience' and the role of education in the reproduction of particular national citizens? And how do migrant youth themselves perceive and experience this mobility 'back home'? This panel investigates African migrant youth's North-South 'return' mobility for the purpose of education. It explores youth's informal and formal education as well as their mobilities of various duration from a youth-centric perspective.