Global Transactions: Sudanese Refugees Sending Money Home

Dianna J. Shandy

Abstract


This paper draws on ethnographic research in America and Ethiopia to explore the phenomenon of Sudanese (Nuer) refugee remittance from those in the diaspora to those who remain behind in Africa. Specifically it locates the unidirectional flow of cash within transnational flows of people, goods, and information. This multi-sited study explores the impacts of these transfers on both sides of the equation. It documents the importance of remittances as a vital component of survival and investment in the future for Nuer refugees in Ethiopia. Similarly it raises questions about the siphoning off of resources on the social, cultural, and economic integration of Sudanese in the United States. Finally, it situates remitting behaviour within a broader socio-historical context to explain its centrality in maintaining a Nuer community across national borders.

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