‘Medɔ wo’ Understanding the transformation of the transnational field, habitus, and capital of members of the Ghanaian diaspora living in the Netherlands through the encounter of conservative and liberal attitudes towards homosexuality
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Ghanaian immigrants in the Netherlands come from a considerably more conservative background with regards to sexual freedom and expressions thereof than the majority of the Dutch population. Through migration, differing cultural attitudes, values, and norms encounter. Previous studies have found that immigrants acculturate in the dimension of moral attitudes over time. This research assesses how this process of attitude change unfolds by collecting data on specific experiences and interactions of transnational Ghanaian immigrants in the Netherlands. Analytically, this research builds on the conceptual toolkit of Pierre Bourdieu, consisting of field, habitus, and capital. Through the methodological innovation of a multileveled analysis, looking at the inter-field, intra-field, and individual level, this research finds that members of the Ghanaian diaspora actively shape their transnational field, habitus, and capital through interactions with institutions, associations, co-workers, and friends, and family, while simultaneously maintaining transnational ties with Ghana. In addition, this research finds that the attitudes of members of the Ghanaian diaspora in the Netherlands towards homosexuality have become more positive through the process of migration, which is in line with previous work on the subject.