Ethnic Identity, Discrimination and the Shaping of Remittance Culture in Ghana

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Joseph Kweku Assan


This article examines birth-based structures and endogenous practices in the migration patterns of two ethnic groups in southern Ghana. The sampled ethnic groups for this study are the Akuapems from the Akan ethnic group located in the Akuapem North district and the Ada/Dangme’s from the Ga-Adangme ethnic group located in the Shai-Osudoku District and the Ningo-Prampram District (formally known as Dangme West District). The article discusses how ethnic identity influences remittance patterns and the utilization of sampled migrants’ home districts. Data from a questionnaire survey, interviews, and focus group meetings informed the study. The study results indicate a strong relationship between patterns, practices, and utilization of remittances and the respective norms and social values embedded within the migrants’ ethnic identity. The research also shows that migrants from ethnic groups with strong internal cohesion and less assimilation remit more than those from more ethnically heterogeneous groups. The study found that migrants from matrilineal ethnicity remit more than those of the patrilineal group. Ethnic values also shape the type of investments that internal migrants and their families may pursue. The research contributes to the debate on agency and endogenous development within birth-based structured societies. It also advances the discourse on birth-based identities, marginalization, and informal poverty reductions mechanisms and strategies.


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How to Cite
Assan, J. (2021). Ethnic Identity, Discrimination and the Shaping of Remittance Culture in Ghana. CASTE / A Global Journal on Social Exclusion, 2(2), 295-314.
Research Articles