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Title:Home away from home: a study of the Ewe unification in the United States
Author(s):Kothor, Djifa
Advisor(s):Miraftab, Faranak
Department / Program:Center for African Studies
Discipline:African Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Ewe nationalism
United States
Abstract:This master’s thesis attempts to identity the reasons and causes for strong Ewe identity among those in the contemporary African Diaspora in the United States. An important debate among African nationalists and academics argues that ethnic belonging is a response to colonialism instigated by Western-educated African elites for their own political gain. Based on my observation of Ewe political discourses of discontent with the Ghana and Togolese governments, and through my exploratory interviews with Ewe immigrants in the United States; I argue that the formation of ethnic belonging and consciousness cannot be reduced to its explanation as a colonial project. Ewe politics whether in the diaspora, Ghana or Togo is due to two factors: the Ewe ethnonational consciousness in the period before independence; and the political marginalization of Ewes in the post-independence period of Ghana and Togo. Moreover, within the United States discrimination and racial prejudice against African Americans contribute to Ewe ethnic consciousness beyond their Togo or Ghana formal national belongings towards the formation of the Ewe associations in the United States. To understand the strong sense of Ewe identity among those living in the United States, I focus on the historical questions of ethnicity, regionalism and politics in Ghana and Togo. I contextualize this experience within the broader literature on contemporary African migration to the United States and how migration affects notions of Ewe ethnonational consciousness.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Djifa Kothor
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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