Relative Distance: Kinship, Migration, and Christianity between Kenya and the United Kingdom

Leslie Fesenmyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Relative distance is a multi-sited ethnography of transnational kinship between Kenya and the United Kingdom. Rather than focusing on structural explanations like changing modes of economic production, ‘push-pull’ factors, and globalization as drivers of familial change and transformation, Leslie Fesenmyer focuses on the micro-spaces of transnational familial life, revealing how, through quotidian interactions, exchanges, and practices, those who move and those who stay contribute to the ongoing transformation of kinship. She argues that the distance – physical, social, and phenomenological – migration generates between kin is where they express and negotiate what being related entails. In asking who is responsible for whom, the book reveals how questions of care and responsibility are not only family matters, but are also central to relations between individuals, societies, and states.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge, UK; New York, NY
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781009335096
ISBN (Print)9781009335072
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2023

Publication series

NameThe International African Library
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • kinship
  • Migration
  • Kenya
  • United Kingdom
  • Christianity


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