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Displacing Deviance: Second-Generation Migrant Youth, Disciplinary Return, and Transnational Social Fields of Inclusion and Exclusion return

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 2GENRETURN (Displacing Deviance: Second-Generation Migrant Youth, Disciplinary Return, and Transnational Social Fields of Inclusion and Exclusion return)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2019-12-31

This project aims to better understand the ‘educational return mobilities’ of young people of Nigerian heritage who have grown up in the USA and UK to Nigeria for a period of secondary schooling. The practice of ‘sending children back home’ from African diasporic communities in Europe and North Africa for periods of ‘homeland education’ has been noted as common in scholarly research on West African diasporas and the subject of media interest, but there has been very little sustained research into the issue. Furthermore, what research there is tends to focus on adult views of young people’s ‘homeland education’, rather than young people’s views. Therefore, this project addresses that gap in conducting in-depth research into this issue from an intergenerational, transnational perspective and especially aims to amplify young people’s viewpoints on being raised and educated transnationally.

The issue of ‘homeland education’ in the Nigerian diaspora is important because it provides insight into the way that experiences of education systems, economic opportunities or constraints, and racialised prejudices which African migrants face in ‘the West’ interact with diasporic aspirations towards continued social belonging and new economic opportunities on the continent. Choices about how young people are raised; the values, dispositions, skills and knowledges that adults hope to instil in young people; and whether young people accept or alter their upbringings, all reveal much about changing global geographies of power, class, and belonging for the Nigerian diaspora.

The overall objectives of the project are:

• To establish new, cross-disciplinary knowledge of this issue through research in the USA, UK and Nigeria
• To link findings on this transnational family practice to questions of how migrants navigate socio-economic conditions in ‘host’ countries
• To advance the field of academic research on transnational families by strengthening international networks of scholars in this area, and producing high-quality academic research outputs
An overview of project work performed thus far, and the main results achieved, is as follows:

Comprehensive literature reviews conducted on transnational families and youth, return migration and education
Desk-based research into media coverage and diaspora online forum discussions of 'educational return'

84 interviews conducted in Lagos (Nigeria), Newark & Camden (USA) and London (UK)
5 focus groups conducted in Lagos (Nigeria) and Camden (USA)
Ethnographic observation conducted in Lagos (Nigeria) and Newark (USA)

Transcription, coding and analysis of primary data
1 journal article in preparation
1 international workshop being planned

1 participatory creative output (short film) produced in collaboration with a young research participant (not yet disseminated)
5 presentations on the project given at conferences and seminars
3 further conferences and 1 training course attended
The project is progressing well. Results broadly match the expected results laid out in the proposal, though there have been greater numbers of interviews conducted than expected and work is on track to give more presentations about the project than expected. In the upcoming phase, practitioner reports and public outputs will bring project findings to broad non-academic audiences.
A Lagos Private School