Date of Thesis

Spring 2012

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Humanities

First Advisor

John Hunter

Keywords

Ghana, Community in Literature, Community in Anthropology, Adinkra, Transnationalism, Cosmopolitanism

Abstract

In my thesis, I use anthropology, literature, and adinkra, an indigenous art, to study Ghanaian concepts of community from an interactive standpoint. While each of these disciplines has individually been used to study the concept of community, the three have not previously been discussed in relation to one another. I explore the major findings of each field—mainly that in anthropology, transnational informants find communities upheld; in literature, transnational characters find the opposite; and in adinkra, there are elements of both continuity and dissolution—to discuss Ghanaian constructs of community in the transnational world. Throughout time, there have always been transnational individuals and concepts, but as globalization continues, transnationalism has become an ever-more vital topic, and combined with the common anthropological discussion of tradition and modernity, its influence on developing countries, like Ghana, is significant. Therefore, in my thesis, I explore how differing conceptions of community present themselves in each discipline, and how those divergences create a new understanding of place and identity.

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