1 Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Geology, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet5 Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet6 Geology, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
young Ghanaian artisans' mobilization of resources through mobility in times of climate change
An important topic in climate change discourse is the question of ``climate refugees'' and climate-related mobility, which is often presented as failed adaptation. This discourse feeds into, and reinvigorates, anti-mobility sentiments, especially concerning youth, among nongovernmental and governmental organizations that conceptualize mobility as involuntary and associated with social rupture. Challenging this understanding, we argue that mobility can be an important strategy for mobilizing resources through social relations, what we call ``social weaving.'' Analyzing young northern Ghanaian artisans' narratives of mobility, related in the aftermath of flooding attributed to climate change, we show, firstly, that mobility among young people is commonplace and that the decision to either stay or move is typically an active choice associated with the artisans' fabric of relations. Secondly, we demonstrate how the development field can be seen to be largely based on, as well as generating, social relations. Indeed, while there has been a tendency towards anti-mobility sentiments among development organizations, NGOs themselves often become woven into the local artisans' fabric of relations and strategies for mobility. We thus illustrate how the global field of development and its local manifestations can be presented as a form of social weaving consisting of practiced and imagined relations between, and among, global and local actors in development, thereby moving away from a structure-oriented focus within development research. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Geoforum, 2013, Vol 45, p. 168-177
Migration; Development; Climate change; Ghana; Young people; Mobility