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Title: Na me be dis? : professional Nigerian women's narratives of immigration and adaptation to life in the UK
Author: Ogbemudia, Joy
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 4777
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores professional Nigerian women's narratives of immigration and adaptation to life in the UK. Despite the gradual interest in researching skilled female migration, the case of Nigerian women is obscured by frequently categorising them as African or Black women. The few studies that focus on Nigerian women often tend to concentrate more on trafficking, smuggling and prostitution. This thesis draws on semi structured interviews with 32 Nigerian women, who were professionals in different fields in Nigeria, before legally migrating to the UK. I examine how these middle-class professional Nigerian women make sense of their lived experiences in Nigeria, their roles in migration decision-making and some of their experiences so far in the UK. Drawing on Mead's work on the symbolic reconstruction of the past from the standpoint of the present, and employing a feminist approach to qualitative research, I pay attention to how participants reflexively construct narratives of their lived experiences in Nigeria. Adopting a framework of possible selves and imagined future, I discuss how participants' migration decision-making is informed by drawing a link between their possible selves and their imagined future. Rejecting the term "culture shock" to adequately explain immigrants' early experiences in the UK, I propose the use of a "person-by-situation" approach to accommodate the nuances of individual narratives. The challenges faced by my participants as they adapt to life in the UK are complex and multi-factorial. They draw on themes of exclusion, racism, sexism, alienation and downward mobility in their narratives of their challenges in the UK, which led to a participant asking a rhetorical question, "Na me be dis?" (Is this me?). Many participants however ended by presenting themselves as Strong Black Women (SBW), drawing on themes of resilience, faith, determination and hope to construct a vision of a positive future.
Supervisor: Jackson, Stevi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available