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Title: Mediating home in diaspora : identity construction of first and second generation Nigerian immigrants in Peckham, London
Author: Alakija, Oluwafunmilayo Bode
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 3931
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis originally sets out to interrogate Brah’s conception of diaspora as the site of everyday lived experiences. Unlike other notions, Brah’s contention is that migrants’ desire for the homeland is a myth. For seven months, the thesis investigates the validity of this statement in the everyday diasporic experiences of first and second generation Nigerians, in the diasporic space of ‘Little Lagos’; Peckham, London. Of particular interest, and under focus in the study, is media use and the affordances that new media technologies, as tools of negotiating multiple attachments to a contemporary Nigeria, provide. In the main, the study sought to find answers to three questions. The first of these was whether the media made the diaspora feel at home within the diasporic space of Peckham. The second investigates how connections between contemporary Nigeria and the UK are negotiated, and the third, the different identities and attachments constructed in ordinary media consumption compared to media engagements with exceptional media events such as those relating to terrorism. Based on media ethnography, the study involves 67 demographically diverse participants – 49 first generation and 19 second generation Nigerian immigrants in Peckham. A combination of participant observation and semi-structured interviews were used to collect the data. The collected data was analysed manually using thematic analysis. One of the key findings is that home is lived in the present by the Nigerian migrants, validating Brah’s proposition, and corroborated by mediation from social, cultural, religious and commercial practices. Although both generations interact with a contemporary Nigeria that is trendy; and has been facilitated in differing ways by technological developments; the first generation of the Nigerian migrants use the media to navigate ties with the home and the place of settlement. For the second generation, the media are windows to global trends, connect them to Nigerians all over the world, as well as keep them abreast of events and issues in Nigeria. Furthermore, the thesis shows through both generations’ contestation of media’s emphasis on the Nigerian aspect of the Woolwich killers’ identities, and through the younger generation’s celebration of the inclusion of afrobeat music, Nollywood and the representation of ankara in the host society and the global mainstream, that discourses of hybrid identities would continue to revolve around a national centre. This thesis builds on the work of Couldry (2013) and Johnson and McKay (2011), as the findings demonstrate that social, religious and cultural practices shape both generations’ engagements with diasporic media, and expand national identification and definitions of home. Overall, the key discovery is that home will continue to be a major issue in diasporic discourse.
Supervisor: Ong, Jonathan ; Bain, Jessica Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available