The structuring of feeling in Ghanaian transnational families

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Studies exploring the emotional experiences of members of transnational families have often highlighted the emotional suffering of mothers and children separated from one another as a result of transnational migration. Taking Ghana as a case example, this paper complicates this picture by showing how parents and children in Ghanaian transnational families have different emotional responses to their separation, in which the parents express less suffering over the situation than their children. Their different discourses about the goals for parent-child relationships and their sense of agency inachieving these goals affect their expression of emotions. This paper argues that we need to pay attention to the ideologies and sense of agency of social actors in different social positions in order to understand the ways that transnational migration structures feelings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-250
Number of pages29
JournalCity and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


  • Emotion
  • Family
  • Ghana
  • Socialization
  • Transnationalism


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