Christian Ungruhe will join the Sport and Nation project at ESHCC

Christian Ungruhe (1979) is a social anthropologist working on topics in the realm of migration, youth, work and sport in West Africa. 

After obtaining his Master degree from the University of Münster (Germany) in 2005 he embarked on PhD project at Bayreuth University (Germany) that dealt with the relationship between internal migration practices and the negotiations of life phases among young people in Ghana. Beside this, he started to develop an interest in African football migration and worked in a project on the trajectories of West African players to Europe and their role in communicating and reinforcing images and racial stereotypes about Black people in Germany. After completing these projects he moved to Aarhus University to work in a postdoc project on after career life course trajectories of West African footballers in Northern Europe (2015-2019). His work particularly dealt with players’ ambivalent experiences of precarity and their communication in transnational settings (e.g. with kin and friends at home).

From November 2019 he will join the research group “Sport and Nation” of Prof. Gijsbert Oonk as Marie Curie LEaDing Fellow. In his project he will follow West African footballers who pursuit professional contracts in South East Asia. Undertaking a longitudinal approach, he will particularly work with players who he has accompanied since 2010 and looks at the processes of their social and geographical mobilities and subjectivities on the road and in the making.

Selected Publications in the field of football migration:

with James Esson (2017): A social negotiation of hope: male West African youth, ‘waithood’ and the pursuit of social becoming through football, Boyhood Studies 10 (1): 22-43.

(2016): Mobilities at play: the local embedding of transnational connections in West African football migration, International Journal for the History of Sport 33 (15): 1767-1785.

(2014): “Natural Born Sportsmen”. Processes of Othering and Self-Charismatization of African Professional Footballers in Germany, African Diaspora 6 (2): 196-217.