Cover for BJORK: Somalis Abroad: Clan and Everyday Life in Finland. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Somalis Abroad

Clan and Everyday Life in Finland

The clash of clan with the contemporary world

Somalis in the diaspora consider the subject of clan an embarrassment, if not taboo. Yet it remains an ever-present, if understated, component of their daily lives, a foundation of a people displaced by war and unrest.

Drawing on a wealth of ethnographic detail, Stephanie Bjork offers the first study on the messy role of clan or tribe in the Somali diaspora, and the only study on the subject to include women's perspectives. Somalis Abroad illuminates the ways clan is contested alongside ideas of autonomy and gender equality, challenged by affinities towards others with similar migration experiences, transformed because of geographical separation from family members, and leveraged by individuals for cultural capital. Challenging prevailing views in the field, Bjork argues that clan-informed practices influence everything from asylum decisions to managing money. The practices also become a pattern that structures important relationships via constant--and unwitting--effort.

Affecting and insightful, Somalis Abroad offers students and experts alike an instructive example of today's anthropological methods producing a classic ethnography of a misunderstood community.

"A helpful addition to the debate on the Somali diaspora. . . . The book will be of use to researchers and students interested in transnational migration and diasporas." --Nordic Journal of Migration Research

"Bjork ingeniously deploys her own ethnographic experience to show how Somalis in Finland, embarrassed on the global cultural stage by the persistence of clan ideology, nevertheless use clan identities as flexible paths to the intimate reaches of diasporic life."--Michael Herzfeld, author of Cultural Intimacy: Social Poetics in the Nation-State

"Somalis living in Finland represent an important node in the global Somali diaspora. This book, based on immersive fieldwork and interviews conducted in Finnish, English, and Somali, is a welcome and timely addition to the literature on migration and diasporas."--Dianna Shandy, author of Nuer-American Passages: Globalizing Sudanese Migration

"This is a boldly written book that deserves to be read by everyone who wants (or hopes) to understand the role that identity can play in Muslim, and specifically Somali, diaspora communities. In truth, it should be read by anyone with an interest in immigrant issues. Bjork writes incisively yet respectfully, but even more importantly, by comparing what Somalis say they do when it comes to 'clan' affiliations with what they do in actuality, she has produced a model ethnography."--Anna Simons, author of Networks of Dissolution: Somalia Undone

Stephanie R. Bjork is Professor of Anthropology at Paradise Valley Community College. She is coeditor of From Mogadishu to Dixon: The Somali Diaspora in a Global Context.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
The Ecology of the Spoken Word - Cover
The Ecology of the Spoken Word

Amazonian Storytelling and Shamanism among the Napo Runa

Michael A. Uzendoski and Edith Felicia Calapucha-Tapuy

Storytelling in Siberia - Cover
Storytelling in Siberia

The Olonkho Epic in a Changing World

Robin P. Harris

Reversed Gaze - Cover
Reversed Gaze

An African Ethnography of American Anthropology

Mwenda Ntarangwi

The Second Generation of African American Pioneers in Anthropology - Cover
The Second Generation of African American Pioneers in Anthropology

Edited by Ira E. Harrison, Deborah Johnson-Simon, and Erica Lorraine Williams

The Street Is My Pulpit - Cover
The Street Is My Pulpit

Hip Hop and Christianity in Kenya

Mwenda Ntarangwi

Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement - Cover
Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement

Edited by Drid Williams and Brenda Farnell

From Myth to Creation - Cover
From Myth to Creation

Art from Amazonian Ecuador

Dorothea S. Whitten and Norman E. Whitten Jr.

Women and Power in Zimbabwe - Cover
Women and Power in Zimbabwe

Promises of Feminism

Carolyn Martin Shaw

Embodied Protests - Cover
Embodied Protests

Emotions and Women's Health in Bolivia

Maria Tapias

Building Filipino Hawai‘i - Cover
Building Filipino Hawai‘i

Roderick N. Labrador

Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance - Cover
Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance

Igniting Citizenship

Yvonne Daniel

Ethnomusicology - Cover

Edited by Ellen Koskoff

Street Life under a Roof - Cover
Street Life under a Roof

Youth Homelessness in South Africa

Emily Margaretten

Cape Verde, Let's Go - Cover
Cape Verde, Let's Go

Creole Rappers and Citizenship in Portugal

Derek Pardue

Victims and Warriors - Cover
Victims and Warriors

Violence, History, and Memory in Amazonia

Casey High