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Cati Coe

Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University
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About Cati

Coe's research focuses on West Africa, focused particularly on West African immigration to the United States. Overarching themes in Coe's writings include kinship, political belonging, and the state. In this capacity, she has examined the separation of parents from their children and the niche employment field for West African migrants of elder-care work, on which she has published widely.

In the News

"Biden Stimulus Plan an Overdue Lifeline for Home Health Aides," Cati Coe, Opinion,, February 18, 2021.


The New American Servitude: Political Belonging among African Immigrant Home Care Workers (NYU Press, 2019).

Analyzes the establishment of elder care work as a niche of African immigrant communities and networks. Explores the racialized, gendered, and age hierarchies that African immigrants enter into, and their subsequent lack of economic and social mobility.

"Returning Home: The Retirement Strategies of Aging Ghanaian Care Workers" in Transnational Aging and Reconfigurations of Kin-Work, edited by Parin Dossa and Cati Coe (Rutgers University Press, 2017).

Explains why Ghanaian migrants are forced to return in Ghana when they retire from elder-care work in the United States.

"Translations in Kinscripts: Child Circulation among Ghanaians Abroad" in ffective Circuits: African Migrations to Europe and the Pursuit of Social Regeneration, edited by Jennifer Cole and Christian Groes (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

Analyzes the ways that the United States' definition of family in family reunification and international adoption policies constrains Ghanaian immigrants who wish to support their nieces and nephews to succeed in life.

The Scattered Family: Parenting, African Migrants, and Global Inequality (University of Chicago Press, 2013).

Examines migration from Ghana and the effect of the subsequent separation of families on those living in Ghana and abroad.

"Transnational Parenting: Child Fostering in Ghanaian Immigrant Families" in Young Children of Black Immigrants in America: Changing Flows, Changing Faces, edited by Randy Capps and Michael Fix (Migration Policy Institute, 2012), 265-296.

Explains the constraints on Ghanaian transnational families in raising their young children in the United States.