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Title: Family matters in African football migration: an analysis of the role of family, agency and football academies in the mobility of Ghanaian football players.
Author: Van Der Meij, Nienke
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 776X
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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For some years now, African football labour migration has been of academic and public concern. With a number of notable exceptions, much of the existing academic research on African football migration has been framed in terms of its macro-level structural determinants. This thesis specifically concentrates on the role of football academies in the Ghanaian football migration industry, and seeks to position agency and the ways that it is employed to navigate through the structural constraints that young players encounter as part of their experience of entering, living in and exiting football academies. The overarching research question is whether internal migration to a football academy features as a household livelihood strategy for international migration. Drawing on nine months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana, three specific, hitherto unexplored aspects of African football migration are addressed: 1) the role of the family in processes of athletic relocation; 2) the movement of young players into academies as a process of internal migration; and 3) the experiences of international immobility of Ghanaian academy players. To tackle this research question and related caveats, and to capture the multiplicity and complexity involved with academy players' internal migration, Mabogunje's (1970) migration system theory is reworked to an Integrated migration model, which is used as a heuristic framework to analyse the ways in which the various stages of football players' internal migration trajectory are experienced and navigated by players and their family members. It is demonstrated that a meso-level approach, that accords significance to the family as a unit of analysis, provides a unique insight into the social processes that underpin the mobility and immobility of young Ghanaian football players, and reveals that the role of football academies in the migration of African football players is a complex and dynamic reality, informed by a series of social forces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available