Relative Distance: Kinship, Generation, and Reproduction between Kenya and the United Kingdom

2008 - 2013
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A historically informed ethnographic study, the project explores the micro-spaces of familial interaction between Kenya and the United Kingdom, and the ways in which transnational families offer a privileged lens for considering how people experience and make sense of wider social transformations. Much existing scholarship on transnational families considers the emotional pain of separation and the commodification of love as migrants try to compensate for their absence by sending remittances and goods as expressions of affection to those who stay behind. It also focuses on the power of (im)migration regimes to re-shape such families, locating the forces of change as primarily external to families. This project breaks away from these dominant narratives to consider the ways in which migration generates space to re-work kin relations.

Principal Investigator

Leslie Fesenmyer


Godfrey Lienhardt Memorial Fund

Carr and Stahl Fund, St. Antony’s College, Oxford