Although contemporary migration in and from Africa can be understood as a continuation of earlier forms of interregional and international migration, current processes of migration seem to have taken on a new quality. This volume argues that one of the main reasons for this is the fact that local worlds are increasingly measured against a set of possibilities whose referents are global, not local. Due to this globalization of the personal and societal horizons of possibilities in Africa and elsewhere, in many contexts migration gains an almost inevitable attraction while, at the same time, actual migration becomes increasingly restricted. Based on detailed ethnographic accounts, the contributors to this volume focus on the imaginations, expectations, and motivations that propel the pursuit of migration. Decentring the focus of much of migration studies on the ‘receiving societies', the volume foregrounds the subjective aspect of migration and explores the impact which the imagination and practice of migration have on the sociocultural conditions of the various local settings concerned.
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