© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/187254610X505655 African Diaspora 3 (2010) 13-42 brill.nl/afdi African Diaspora “Virtuous Citizenship”: Ethnicity and Encapsulation among Akan-Speaking Ghanaian Methodists in London Mattia Fumanti * Social Anthropology, School of Global Studies, Th e University of Sussex, Falmer Brighton, BN1 6SJ, UK firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Abstract Akan-speaking Methodists in London make sense of their diasporic experience by claiming ‘vir- tuous’ citizenship. Regardless of their legal and formal status, they feel themselves to be citizens of Britain as Methodists, workers and law-abiding subjects. Active membership in the British Methodist church, conceived as an English transnational polity extending to Ghana, allows for this alternative construction, rooted in Methodist Christian ideology of universal and selﬂ ess love, and the Akan concept of ɔ tema – empathy for the pain of others, expressed in moral and material obligations to humanity at large, and family or fellowship members. Encapsulation in ethnically exclusive fellowships has become, however, highly problematic for the British Meth- odist Church whose internal conversation mirrors wider debates in Britain on multiculturalism and immigrant citizenship. Ghanaians themselves are increasingly aware of this critique, but for * ) Th is paper is the result of 18 months of ﬁ
African Diaspora – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
Keywords: London; encapsulation; citoyenneté; méthodisme; citizenship; multiculturalisme; transnationalisme; enfermement; multiculturalism; Ghanaian diaspora; Londres; methodism; diaspora Ghanéenne; transnationalism
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