African cultural identities
Subject Categories::N890 Tourism, Transport and Travel not elsewhere classified
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AbstractRecently, diasporic peoples have been repeatedly researched in the fields of cultural anthropology, ethnology, sociology, cultural identities, social sciences, and tourism studies. Few studies have examined how diasporic populations preserve their Indigenous knowledges within diasporic settings. This thesis explores ways in which Congolese diasporic people in England make meaning of their Indigenous knowledges in their new places of residence. Therefore, the study problem (or overall aim) examines the status of African Indigenous knowledges within the Congolese diaspora in England. It is, thus, intended to investigate how Congolese people preserve their cultural identities and Indigenous knowledges within the host place, which is dominated by British and Western ways of living. Four sub-problems underpin the overall aim of the inquiry: analysis of the Lived Experiences of Congolese diasporic people in England; evaluation of the relationship between Congolese Cultural Identity and Diaspora Tourism to Congo; identification of the motivations of Congolese for travelling to Congo, and detection of tensions in Applying African/Congolese Indigenous Knowledges in England. The theoretical framework of the study is built on the reviewed literatures on Indigeneity, diaspora, tourism and postcoloniality. The inquiry follows a postdisciplinary line of inquiry after Coles et al. (2006) and Hollinshead (2016). This research project contributes methodologically and theoretically to the development of an African Indigenous paradigm, which promote the employment of traditional African Indigenous methods to gather data to encourage an anti-colonial agenda. This thesis is in part in line with the concept of hybridity of diasporic populations coined by Bhabha (1994), as some research participants faced the dilemma of belonging to two places. At the same time, this study is partially inconsistent with Bhabha’s concept of hybridity, since some diasporic individuals felt they did not belong anywhere. III The research study employed mixed methods (Indigenous and Western) after Wilson (2008), Kovach (2009), Botha (2011) and Chilisa (2012) with the purpose of applying a decolonising agenda to this investigation. Specifically, African Indigenous methods such as talking circles, storytelling, and interviews adapted to African values (including relationality, relationship and collective construction of knowledge) were the tools utilised to collect data in the context of decolonising the research process, whereas Western qualitative analytical framework such as thematic analysis was used to analyse the collected information. The findings of the study suggested that African languages played a critical role in preserving Indigenous knowledges of African/Congolese diasporic people in the Western dominated space where they lived. In addition, the research study showed that cultural practices including cultural practices, wedding ceremonies, birth rituals, mourning, and funerals were also essential to Congolese diasporic individuals for the conservation of their African knowledges and cultural identities in England. Participants to the study confirmed that engaging in diaspora tourism to ancestral homeland was an additional tool employed by diasporic individuals to negotiate their Indigenous knowledges and cultural identities. However, the opinions collected on Indigenous knowledges from the research participants displayed contrasting positions on many aspects. The reflexivity of the researcher was demonstrated throughout the entire study via reflexive reports written by the author.
CitationMusumbu, M (2021) 'African Indigenous Knowledges: the Congolese Diaspora in England'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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