Transnational youth mobility trajectoriesAn ethnography of young people with a migration background between Ghana and Germany
2. November 2022, von Judith Keinath
Dr. Laura Jane Ogden
This thesis investigates the ‘transnational youth mobility trajectories’ of migrant youth, meaning all the moves that young people make in their lives, including migrations but also family visits, holidays, internships, and transitions between different school systems. An increasing proportion of young people around the world have a migration background, and recent research shows that many migrant youth in Europe travel regularly to their country of origin. Nevertheless, we know very little about the way mobility affects their lives. As part of the ‘Mobility Trajectories of Young Lives’ project (www.motrayl.com), this thesis focused on Ghanaian-background youth (15-25 years) living in Hamburg. It shows that migrant youth are very mobile, that the frequency and reasons for their mobility change over time, and that mobility has important effects on their lives in the country of residence. Experiences in the country of origin – including schooling, family environments, and other important relationships – can provide valuable resources, like confidence and motivation, and other forms of support that help migrant youth navigate schooling and life in the country of residence.
Ogden, L. J. (2022). Transnational youth mobility trajectories: an ethnography of young people with a migration background between Ghana and Germany. [Doctoral Thesis, Maastricht University]. ProefschriftMaken. https://doi.org/10.26481/dis.20220601lo
About the author
Laura J. Ogden is an anthropologist focused on transnational migration, mobility, and education. She does ethnographic research, with a specialisation in audiovisual methods. Laura currently works as a post-doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University. Her PhD thesis explored the patterns, experiences and effects of the transnational mobility of young people with a migration background between Ghana and Germany, as part of the MO-TRAYL project.
Laura obtained my MA in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (Visual Ethnography) from Leiden University in 2016, cum laude. Her thesis, including the ethnographic film, Scripting Change, investigated how the 2013 Timorese primary-school curriculum reform navigated and highlighted tensions between the educational ideals of various local and international stakeholders.
Laura worked in international development in Timor-Leste (East Timor) with government, NGOs and international donors from 2011-2017. Prior to that, she worked in the arts sector in Melbourne, Australia (2008-2011), including as a public art and youth arts coordinator and in exhibition coordination and assistance.
The thesis was supervised by Valentina Mazzucato, Maastricht University, and Sara Fürstenau.