Cloth $85.00 ISBN: 9780226072241 Published November 2013
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226072388 Published November 2013
E-book $7.00 to $27.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226072418 Published November 2013

The Scattered Family

Parenting, African Migrants, and Global Inequality

Cati Coe

Cati Coe

256 pages | 8 halftones, 2 maps, 4 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Cloth $85.00 ISBN: 9780226072241 Published November 2013
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226072388 Published November 2013
E-book $7.00 to $27.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226072418 Published November 2013
Today’s unprecedented migration of people around the globe in search of work has had a widespread and troubling result: the separation of families. In The Scattered Family, Cati Coe offers a sophisticated examination of this phenomenon among Ghanaians living in Ghana and abroad. Challenging oversimplified concepts of globalization as a wholly unchecked force, she details the diverse and creative ways Ghanaian families have adapted long-standing familial practices to a contemporary, global setting.

Drawing on ethnographic and archival research, Coe uncovers a rich and dynamic set of familial concepts, habits, relationships, and expectations—what she calls repertoires—that have developed over time, through previous encounters with global capitalism. Separated immigrant families, she demonstrates, use these repertoires to help themselves navigate immigration law, the lack of child care, and a host of other problems, as well as to help raise children and maintain relationships the best way they know how. Examining this complex interplay between the local and global, Coe ultimately argues for a rethinking of what family itself means. 
Jennifer Hasty, University of Pennsylvania
The Scattered Family is a highly engaging and well-researched book on a neglected topic that is sure to interest not only Africanist scholars but anyone interested in transnational migration and its effects on the family. Exploring the nature of family ties, particularly those between parents and children, among Ghanaians who have emigrated to the United States and Britain for work, Cati Coe contextualizes a host of carefully told narratives within the realm of immigration law and policy, addressing the lives of these migrants from a number of different, intriguing angles.”
Paul Stoller, author of The Power of the Between
“Much of the social research on immigration has focused on broad sociological issues in which scholars analyze economic, political, and legal issues. Except for recent works of exemplary fiction, family life among globally connected immigrant families has taken a representational back seat in the literature. Cati Coe’s wonderfully wrought ethnography, The Scattered Family, fills this important gap—brilliantly. Mixing compelling narratives with nuanced sociological and psychological analysis, Coe has put forward a compelling ethnography that describes with poignant power the social and emotional lives of Ghanaian immigrants—parents and their children—both in the US and in Ghana. This evocative book will be read and discussed for many years to come.”
Carola Suárez-Orozco, University of California, Los Angeles
“Cati Coe thoughtfully examines how Ghanaians ‘creatively enact the repertoire of family life’ following internal as well as external migration. This powerful examination reveals the interplay of cultural practice, historical influences, global economic forces, and policy barriers on this complex phenomenon.”
Katy Gardner, London School of Economics and Political Science
“This book is an important contribution to our understanding of transnational migration and the families separated by it. By showing the historical depth of Ghanaian practices of adoption and fostering and the malleability of concepts of parental love and care, Cati Coe eloquently demonstrates how scattered families and their repertoires arise not only from contemporary global economies but also from particular histories and cultural contexts.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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