Countering the traditional narrative of "migration as crisis," Global Nomads tells the story of a group of people for whom migration is not a symptom of a disordered world, but rather an ordinary practice full of social and personal meaning. Decentering migration from North America and Europe, this ethnography explores how ethnic Fulbe people in the West African Republic of Guinea migrate abroad to seek their fortunes and fulfill their responsibilities--and in the process, securing a place at home. Based on twenty-three months of ethnographic research, Global Nomads investigates how mobility abroad shapes belonging at home and shows that political and economic motivations to migrate are important in Guinea, as elsewhere--but they are only part of the story. Family and community expectations, cultural ideals of work, notions of gender, and religious piety all come into play when people dream of going abroad and when they contemplate coming home again. Ultimately, Global Nomads shows how understandings of the past and its connections to the present--of what being a respectable person entails, of individual responsibilities to a larger community--all shape how people live in contexts of insecurity.
Global Nomads is a volume in the series ISSUES OF GLOBALIZATION: CASE STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY ANTHROPOLOGY, which examines the experiences of individual communities in our contemporary world. Each volume offers a brief and engaging exploration of a particular issue arising from globalization and its cultural, political, and economic effects on certain peoples or groups.