“Diasporic Transnationalism”: Towards a Framework for Conceptualizing and Understanding the Ambivalence of the Social Construction of “Home” and the Myth of Diasporic Nigerian Homeland Return

Buster C. Ogbuagu


In the last several decades, a large number of Nigerians have left Nigeria, their native land, to Europe and the Americas, mostly to acquire education and skills for national growth participation and self-actualization. Most who left Nigeria’s shores were certain about the inevitability of their return, or were impressed by significant others on its pertinence, contingent on the dictates of the culture, values, filial piety and other social and cultural ties and encumbrances. Whereas a few completed their studies or whatever educational or skills training they sought and returned to Nigeria, this study found that most remain, even trapped. Although they continue to entertain putative thoughts about returning to be buried among their ancestors, this may never happen, leaving them ambivalent, frustrated and even discomfited about their social, structural and especially psychological construction of “Home.” Although the social construction of “home” posits no issue for mainstream cultures, it is literally a matter of life and death for Diasporic Africans. The study seeks to highlight this social and psychological discomfiture of “Mental Homelessness” that is the bane of migration and transnational movements among Diasporic Africans, using Nigeria as a backdrop. It also quests for cultural competency by practitioners to seek non-linear ways to assist such Diasporic Transnationalists find a sustainable resolution to an appropriate definition and construction of “home.”

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v3n2p189

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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