"I Am Austro-Ghanaian" - Citizenship and Belonging of Ghanaians in Austria

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 13:00
Location: Hörsaal 42 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Michael OKYEREFO, University of Ghana, Department of Sociology, Ghana
To what extent do Ghanaian migrants who have become Austrian citizens really belong to their new home? By means of analyzing life histories of nine individuals, the paper interrogates current narratives on migration, citizenship and belonging. The work emanates from ongoing fieldwork among Ghanaian residents in Austria. Using a qualitative method, the paper draws
on interviews with eight Ghanaians and an Austrian wife of one of them in order to tease out these Ghanaians’ understanding of their citizenship and belonging in Austrian. Some respondents described themselves variously as “Austro-Ghanaian”, “Ghanaian-Austrian”, “Ghanaian” or “Austrian”. The common denominator of these individuals is that all of them have obtained
Austrian citizenship, which raises the question of what it means for Ghanaians to be Austrian within the crucible of stringent European immigration laws.