Back to africa: Second chances for the children of West African immigrants

Caroline H. Bledsoe*, Papa Sow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


This paper examines the phenomenon of West African parents living in Europe and North America who send their older children back home: from places of high immigrant aspiration to those of hardship and privation. Drawing on a project on West African immigration to Europe and on previous field studies in Africa, we conclude that West African immigrants fearing the consequences of their children's indiscipline in the West, where racism and hostility can endanger the entire family, may send unruly children back to the home country. In doing so, we believe, they build on long-standing African disciplinary efforts in hopes of toughening their children's resilience to the challenges in the new place and wait for the risk to dissipate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-762
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • African families
  • Cross-cultural
  • Culture/race/ethnicity
  • Ethnography
  • Fostering
  • Migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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