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'The best of both worlds': Lagos private schools as engaged strategists of transnational child-raising

Cheung Judge, R; (2021) 'The best of both worlds': Lagos private schools as engaged strategists of transnational child-raising. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 10.1080/1369183x.2020.1857233. (In press).

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Schools in migrant-sending contexts often educate many children whose parents live abroad and decide to ‘leave’ or ‘send’ their children to be raised ‘back home’. Yet there has been little attention to how transnational child-raising is enacted by non-kin actors within educational institutions. This paper addresses this absence, exploring Lagos private schools as crucial sites of care for children with parents in the diaspora. Examining educators’ perspectives on schooling children ‘sent back’ to Nigeria from the UK and USA, the paper argues that they undertake intensive and strategic projects of transnational child-raising. They act as defacto guardians and position their educational offerings as highly moral in ways that draw on endogenous notions of ‘training’ good character, but are not driven by reproducing tradition. Rather, they play intermediary roles in transnational families: they aim to realise parents’ desires for respectful, disciplined children who excel academically, yet are also attuned to young people’s struggles. They are conscious of diaspora realities and understand their schools’ roles as portals facing both ways in the transnational social field, preparing young people for multiple possible futures. The paper demonstrates that exploring education as a site of social reproduction can be richly revealing of the dynamics of transnationalism.

Type: Article
Title: 'The best of both worlds': Lagos private schools as engaged strategists of transnational child-raising
DOI: 10.1080/1369183x.2020.1857233
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183x.2020.1857233
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions. // This is the author accepted manuscript of an article in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. The final published version can be found at: doi:10.1080/1369183x.2020.1857233. This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 750495. // Published on 8 Janauary 2021; subject to an eighteen-month embargo period.
Keywords: Education, Nigeria, transnational families, transnational care, migration
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125526
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