I have two homes: an investigation into the transnational identity of Kenyan migrants in the United Kingdom (UK) and how this relates to their wellbeing.

Wangaruro, Jane (2011) I have two homes: an investigation into the transnational identity of Kenyan migrants in the United Kingdom (UK) and how this relates to their wellbeing. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

Background:- The incorporation of migrants in the host country is an on-going debate in many countries. While assimilation theories were prevalent in earlier times before the era of what is commonly referred to as globalization as explanations of migrants’ integration, ethnic pluralist theories including multiculturalism are currently being employed. These theories, however present challenges for current migrants’ incorporation in the host country because they do not regard migrants’ transnationalism. Transnational identity and how it relates to migrants’ wellbeing in the host country remain under-researched and it is the concern of this study.- Aims of the study:- The aims of this study were to: ¨ Investigate the impact of transnational identity on the subjective wellbeing of Kenyan migrants in the UK. This is achieved through a critical examination of the relationship between the support they provide to their chronically ill relatives in Kenya and how this impacts on their wellbeing. ¨ Identify indicators of subjective wellbeing related to transnational identity- Methodology:- A mixed method approach was used and data was collected through two stages. The first stage used a survey, carried out to map out the study by establishing the occurrence of support provision among Kenyans. Survey questionnaires were used for this stage. The second stage employed the use of semi-structured interviews and participant observation as data collection instruments.- Participants:- During the survey, 96 participants (n=96) participated. The semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants. Three community events were observed, two of them were ‘harambees’, which are fundraising events organised to raise money for an ill relative in Kenya and one was a ‘ngwataniro’, which is a prayer meeting organized to pray for an ill relative in Kenya.- Results and data analysis:- The survey data was analyzed using computer software, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and a report was compiled. Colaizzi’s framework was used for the initial analysis of the semi-structured interviews’ data and participant observation data. The data was sorted out and major categories and sub-categories were identified using computer software(NUD*IST), and these were then examined further. The major themes were; transnational identity; belonging; giving; and wellbeing. The results highlighted that migrants construct, nurture and maintain transnational identity thorough provision of support to their chronically ill relatives in Kenya. This enables them to maintain links with their friends and relatives, further enhancing their wellbeing in their country of settlement, the UK.- Discussion:- Transnational identity which is practiced by migrants and reflected among other things through maintenance of links with their families and friends in their home country is linked to migrants’ wellbeing in the host country.- Conclusion:- The results from this study have generated an understanding of how migrants construct, nurture and maintain transnational identity, which is explored in this study through provision of support to their chronically ill relatives in Kenya. The evidence in this research that transnational identity leads to enhanced wellbeing of migrants is a good base for policy makers to consider including transnational perspectives in social integration policies. Recommended research areas should allow additional investigation in transnational identity and how it impacts on health among migrants.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment to the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Theses
ID Code:7328
Deposited On:21 Mar 2011 10:27
Last Modified:18 Jul 2014 16:23

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