Affective CircuitsAfrican Migrations to Europe and the Pursuit of Social Regeneration

Affective CircuitsAfrican Migrations to Europe and the Pursuit of Social Regeneration

Jennifer Cole and Christian Groes

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226405018

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This book examines the simultaneously material, social and emotional exchanges involved when African migrants venture to Europe in search of a better life. As we argue, these exchange are part of a broader quest for social regeneration that involve negotiations of family ties and intimate relationships at home and abroad as well as complicated encounters with state officials and laws hindering or facilitating their journeys. In this migratory process exchange of everything from money, goods and advice to sentiments, phone calls and assurances of belonging are part of transnational circuits that enable, block or control mobility through social networks. We call the circuits that emerge from the sending, withholding and receiving of goods, ideas, bodies and emotions affective circuits. We focus especially on how affective circuits operate in the context of contemporary African migration to Europe, following in the footsteps of migrants and their families, husbands, wives, friends, peers and lovers across African countries like Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Congo, Mauritania, Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique and European countries like France, Italy, Portugal, UK, Germany and Denmark. Through fieldwork in both Africa and Europe the authors analyze how exchanges work, how they are socially, culturally, morally and historically embedded, and how they regenerate and reshape kin and other intimate formations in our times of worldwide migrations.