New book: African football migration. Aspirations, experiences and trajectories

09 May 2022

By Paul Darby, James Esson and Christian Ungruhe with Manchester University Press (2022)

Summary

The global success of football icons like Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and Mohamed Salah has fuelled the migratory projects of countless young men across the African continent who dream of following - literally and figuratively - in their footsteps. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic research, African football migration captures and chronicles the aspirations, experiences and trajectories of those pursuing this highly prized form of transnational migration. In doing so, the book uncovers and traces the myriad actors, networks and institutions that affect the ability of young people across the continent to realise social mobility through football's global production network.

The book sheds critical light on the barriers to social mobility erected by neoliberal capitalism, and how these are negotiated by aspiring African footballers. It also generates original interdisciplinary perspectives on the complex interplay between structural forces and human agency, as young players navigate an industry rife with commercial speculation. While a select few reach the elite levels of the game and build a successful career overseas, the book vividly illustrates how for the vast majority, 'trying their luck' through football results in involuntary immobility in post-colonial Africa. These findings are complemented by rare empirical insights from transnational African migrants at the margins of the global football industry and those navigating precarious retirement from careers as players.

"African football migration" is a collaborative work from researchers located in the fields of human geography, social anthropology and sport sociology. It offers essential coverage of why and how African youth and young men have become actors in the global football industry, revealing the complex implications of transnational mobility, both imagined and enacted.

More information here: https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526120267/>https://www.manchesterhive.com/view/9781526120274/9781526120274.xml

Latest News

Luicy Pedroza

2023 IMISCOE´S MIGCITPOL Standing Committee Annual Workshop

06 February 2023
MIGCITPOL received over 50 submissions for its 2023 Annual Workshop "GOVERNING MIGRANT CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS IN TIMES OF PROTRACTED CRISES" [Call for Papers now closed. Thanks for your interest!] Crises are generally characterized as the outcome of sudden...
IMISCOE Network Office

IMISCOE PhD Day 2023

06 February 2023
The IMISCOE PhD Network Board invites PhD students to participate in this year's PhD Day. The theme of the event is 'The importance of mental health during the PhD journey'. During the event, which will take place on 17 February from 13:00 to 16:30 CET...
Angeliki Konstantinidou

[Lecture Series] “License to Dream: Skilled Mobilities and the Politics of Gender" by Prof. Radha Sarma Hegde

06 February 2023
The Qualification and Skill in the Migration Process of Foreign Workers in Asia (QuaMaFA) project is organising its last hybrid lecture “ License to Dream: Skilled Mobilities and the Politics of Gender ” by Prof. Radha Sarma Hegde (New York University)....
Angeliki Konstantinidou

DeZIM: Researcher/Postdoctoral Researcher for the Horizon Europe Project EQUALSTRENGTH

02 February 2023
Deadline for application: 19 February 2023 The German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) e.V. in Berlin is searching for a (postdoctoral) researchers to be employed with 35,1 hours per week (90%) starting on 01.04.2023 in the...
Angeliki Konstantinidou

SC MITRA: Writing Retreats

31 January 2023
MITRA is organizing writing retreats for PhD students throughout the academic year. The first sessions for 2023 are happening on Feb 6 th and Feb 20 th from 9.00 GMT to 14.00 GMT . For more information, please send an email to This email address is...