VIOLENCE AND MORALITY: The Concession of Loss in A Ghanaian Fishing Village

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When African migrants disappear on the Mediterranean going to Europe they often leave no trace—except for the occasional bodies that wash ashore on the beaches of southern Europe. In this essay, the urgent social and existential ramifications of migrant fatalities on the sea are explored. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a small Ghanaian fishing village on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, it is discussed how the bereaved struggle to make sense of these deaths to high-risk migration—how they struggle to deal with devastating loss while retaining a sense of moral order.

Keywords: exchange; existential anthropology; migration; morality; sacrifice

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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