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Reframing transnational engagement: a relational analysis of Afghan diasporic groups

Global Networks

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--- - |2 Abstract In recent years, there have been repeated calls to refocus studies of diasporic engagements, especially their conceptual underpinnings, underlying assumptions and units of analysis. Based on a qualitative case study of Afghan diasporic groups in Britain and Germany, I propose a refined approach to such engagements. I combine the distinction between different spheres of engagement with key concepts from relational sociology. Afghans in both countries participate in a plethora of transnational engagements, which vary according to the extent of their orientation towards the public or private sphere. At the same time, clearly delineated groups of people undertake engagements observed in different spheres, which different aims and objectives drive. Although informants' attachments to their home country are important, they are not the only basis on which they act. My conceptual angle seeks to inspire critical, nuanced and theoretically rich research on diasporas as social actors and transnational civic engagement in a wider sense. - Global Networks, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 399-417, July 2018.