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  • Author or Editor: Boris Nieswand x
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This article explores diasporic discourses and practices among Ghanaian migrants in Germany. Instead of presuming that 'diaspora' is a stringent theoretical concept or refers to a bounded group in a sociological sense, it is argued that it provides migrants with a grammar of practice that allows for the situational and contextual construction of different types of 'diasporas'. Empirically, three social sites of construction are identified. Firstly, the Ghanaian nation-state and the reconfiguration of Ghanaian nationalism play an important role for promoting diasporic discourses. Secondly, the discourse of development and 'charity rituals' of ethnic and 'hometown' associations are of particular relevance for the proliferation of Ghanaian 'diasporas'. Thirdly, Ghanaian chieftaincies are involved in diasporic activities. The article is based on data collected in thirteen months of multi-sited ethnography conducted in Germany and Ghana between 2001 and 2003 and the analysis of video tapes, newspaper articles and web pages. Cet article explore les discours diasporiques et les pratiques trouvées parmi les migrants ghanéens en Allemagne. Plutôt que de présumer que la « diaspora » est un concept théorique strict ou fait référence à un groupe délimité dans un sens sociologique, il est soutenu qu'il fournit une grammaire de pratiques qui permet la construction situationnelle et contextuelle de différents types de « diasporas ». Empiriquement, trois lieux de construction sociale sont identifiés. Premièrement l'Etat-nation ghanéen et la reconfiguration du nationalisme ghanéen jour un rôle important pour promouvoir des discours diasporiques. Deuxièmement, le discours du développement et des « rituels de charité » des associations ethniques et des « villes natales » a une pertinence particulière pour la prolifération des « diasporas » ghanéennes. Troisièmement, les chefferies des tribus ghanéennes sont impliquées dans les activités de la diaspora. Empiriquement, cet article se base sur treize mois d'ethnographie, conduite en Allemagne et au Ghana entre 2001 et 2003, et sur l'analyse de bandes-vidéos, d'articles de journaux et de sites web.

In: African Diaspora
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The focus of this article is the concept of enacted destiny, which was identified among charismatic Christians of West African origin in Berlin. Different from more fatalistic concepts of destiny, it combines a strong notion of free agency with a strong notion of a good, almighty, and immanent God. The imaginary of enacted destiny is constituted by two components: 1. presituational religious empowerment by which charismatic Christians can reduce complexities, anxieties, and insecurities in the context of decision making; and 2. postsituational sense-making by which divine agency is ascribed to an originally ambiguous situation. Both components temporally embrace the actions of West African charismatic Christians in Berlin. Actions thereby become the means through which God becomes immanent in the everyday lives of West African charismatic Christians in Berlin and enacted destiny a category of movement toward convergence of human and divine agency.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa