The traditional migration literature somewhat underplays the historical complexity of African peoples and the particularistic and multidimensional character of their movements to various migration spaces. Drawing on compelling empirical data on African migrants in Ireland, this article explores the complexity of African international migrants in the current age of global migrations. It highlights how structural, relational and individual dynamics intersect in the production of this experience and, in this way, challenges notions of mono-causality, collective trauma and premeditated political uprooting, variously employed in reference to the African slave ‘diaspora’. The article sees ‘diaspora’ as unsuitable for conceptualising recent migrations of Africans to Ireland, considering these individuals rather as international migrants and refugees (rather than as part of a diaspora, in the traditional sense), whose multi-layered experiences provide insights into their differentiated biographies and varied migration circumstances, goals, expectations, journeys and strategies for settlement and adaptation.
Source: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies Volume 38, Issue 4, 2012