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Betwixt and Between: How first-generation immigrant Africans in Pittsburgh use social capital and transnational phenomena to cross cultures to find belonging.

Dyer, Ervin Betwixt and Between: How first-generation immigrant Africans in Pittsburgh use social capital and transnational phenomena to cross cultures to find belonging. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    In this thesis, I examine the notion of “betwixt and between,” or rather the concept of how first-generation African immigrants constantly travel across cultures. More first-generation African immigrants are living in the Pittsburgh community than ever before. In this emerging diaspora community, we are able see their cross-cultural flows between their homeland and hostland cultures. I argue that being betwixt and between allows the first-generation immigrant to flow amid materials, habits, and languages to find belonging and attachment. The flow between cultures is transnational – it is an exchange of space and materials, images, ideas and values that moves across nation-state boundaries. The flow of betwixt and between is set in motion by the search for social capital, which allows the first-generation immigrant to simultaneously hold on to the old – the ways of the home country – while building attachment to the new – the host country. My work is qualitative and ethnographic, using in-depth interviews and observations and is drawn from a sample of six nationalities, both genders, and diverse educational and socio-economic backgrounds that create the quilt of immigrant African society in Pittsburgh.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmail
    Committee ChairHashimoto, Akikoahash@pitt.ed
    Committee MemberBlee, Kathleenblee@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberBamyeh, Muhammadbamyeh@pitt.edu
    Title: Betwixt and Between: How first-generation immigrant Africans in Pittsburgh use social capital and transnational phenomena to cross cultures to find belonging.
    Status: Published
    Abstract: In this thesis, I examine the notion of “betwixt and between,” or rather the concept of how first-generation African immigrants constantly travel across cultures. More first-generation African immigrants are living in the Pittsburgh community than ever before. In this emerging diaspora community, we are able see their cross-cultural flows between their homeland and hostland cultures. I argue that being betwixt and between allows the first-generation immigrant to flow amid materials, habits, and languages to find belonging and attachment. The flow between cultures is transnational – it is an exchange of space and materials, images, ideas and values that moves across nation-state boundaries. The flow of betwixt and between is set in motion by the search for social capital, which allows the first-generation immigrant to simultaneously hold on to the old – the ways of the home country – while building attachment to the new – the host country. My work is qualitative and ethnographic, using in-depth interviews and observations and is drawn from a sample of six nationalities, both genders, and diverse educational and socio-economic backgrounds that create the quilt of immigrant African society in Pittsburgh.
    Defense Date: 22 August 2011
    Approval Date: 18 January 2012
    Submission Date: 02 December 2011
    Release Date: 18 January 2012
    Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Number of Pages: 98
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: MA - Master of Arts
    Uncontrolled Keywords: immigration, social capital, transnational
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
    Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 13:56
    Last Modified: 19 Jan 2012 01:15

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