Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

Migrants des Suds

Virginie Baby-Collin
Geneviève Cortes
Laurent Faret
et al.


Texte intégral

1Border space and transnational social spaces between Mexico and the United States

Cristóbal Mendoza

Cristóbal chapter focuses on the role of space and places to interpret and understand the migratory processes as part of a debate which remains largely to be led, particularly in the demographic literature. The theoretical discussion about space, which involved in several cases a negation of it, has been improved during the last decade with the empirical studies carried out in the anthropology and sociology of transnationalism. Actually, although anthropological approaches prefer the concept of «community», not bounded by precise territorial limits otherwise defined as a set of social relationships and common identities, a wide majority of the empirical studies focuses on concrete places, situated in different nation-states and specifically characterized. More especially, this chapter addresses the question of the border space in the construction of trajectories and migration spaces in the case of migratory flows between Mexico and the United States. Data from the Migration Survey on the Northern Border of Mexico (EMIF) are used to estimate to what extent the characteristics of the migrants are relevant to stress their trajectories and reorganization. The chapter aims to consider the dynamics of border spaces as constitutive elements of the transnational spaces in their process of formation.

2The migratory circulation of soccer players in Europe. Transnational flows of African soccer players

Raffaele Poli

In this chapter, the migratory circulation of the soccer players practicing in Europe is analysed as one of the aspects of contemporary migratory mobilities. At first, the «transfer market» and the development of the economic logics in this sector of the professional sports are described to highlight factors at the origin of a large mobility of the soccer players, on a national as well as on an international basis. Then, the analysis focuses on the football players recruited in Africa by European clubs. According to a longitudinal perspective, the quantitative study of the intra-European circulation of these players allows to make a distinction between platform spaces, conclusion spaces, springboard spaces and relay spaces. Based on this analysis, the migratory circulation of the professional players can be defined as a series of short stays in various cities in the context of an economic environment structurally organized to make it profitable. In this environment, transfers come along with capital flows that mainly benefit the isolated intermediaries or those who are organized in investment companies, both leading to a flow management activity.

3Migratory circulations of the economic elite in Western Cameroun. The case of the “antiquaires”

Honoré Mimche

Zénabou Tourère

The economic globalization and socioeconomic changes that have been affecting Africa since the end of the 1990’s come along with increasing migratory flows between the countries of the Continent and, more widely, between the South and the North, thus diversifying the types of migratory circulation. In the western part of Cameroon, the emergence of a neo-bourgeoisie specialized in the marketing and the export of ancient art products has been observed for more than a decade. The mobility of those antiquaires leads to transfers of goods, capital, technologies and architectural models that contribute to considerable socio-spatial reorganization and acculturation. In cities as in the Cameroonian Grassfields, territories and societies are affected by the mobility of these economic elites. This chapter is a discussion on the organisation forms of this migratory circulation and on how it contributes to disorganise and restructure the local social spaces.

4Urban historical processes and Moroccan migration networks in Turin, Italy

Giovanni Semi

The urban history of Turin is characterized by multiple migration streams and circulations. The economic development of the main Fordist city of Italy was made possible by the arrival of outside populations, from Piedmont region at first then from all over Italy, in particular from the south regions. During the last decades, the migratory attractiveness of the city widened towards Eastern Europe and the Maghreb region. But may “former” forms of migration and urban insertion be opposed to the “new” ones or should we speak about a continuity of the historical processes? What are the economic dynamics that underlie those mobilities and how do they affect the transformation of urban space? The chapter focuses on the example of the central district of Turin, Porta Palazzo, where the main regional market has been settled since 1853. Around the marketplace, a real trade district has been built up and invested for the last fifteen years by Moroccan storekeepers. In the context of the crisis of the local Fordist system, the Moroccans replaced the Italians and developed activities based on widened migration circulation. If the insertion in the labour markets, the housing conditions or the phenomenon of rejection by the local population are not specific to this migratory wave, there are discontinuities concerning the trading sector and the development of the “bazaar” economy. The mobilization of the Moroccan networks in Europe raises again the question about the displayed and practised “cosmopolitanism” and the relations maintained with the national institutions.

5The Greek of the former Soviet Union in Cyprus. State policies and migrant projects

Kira Kaurinkoski

Today there are approximately 15,000 ethnic Greeks from the former Soviet Union in Cyprus. Most are Pontian Greeks from Georgia or Russia, but there are also Mariupol Greeks from Ukraine. Among the permanent residents, 80% have Greek citizenship, and thus the right to live and work in Cyprus. As far as the future plans of migrants are concerned, it would seem that incorporation into the Cypriot nation concerns mainly Georgian Greeks. Some migrants will certainly try to settle down in Greece. In this context, the settlement programs that were started by the Greek state in the 1990s and in 2002 are big incentives. Return migration concerns mainly Russia and in the long term, Ukraine. Circular mobility with frequent journeys between Cyprus and the countries of origin in the CIS or Greece is characteristic of part of the migrant population.

6The impacts of the Operation Gatekeeper (United States) on the Mexican migratory flows and patterns

Luis Miguel Rionda

Boris Marañón

This chapter analyses the impact on the Mexican migration of the new migration policy of the United States, marked by a sharp intensification of the border controls. It aims at evaluating the effects of border controls on the migratory profiles and temporal movements, and highlights the family and social strategies developed by migrants to deal with this new situation. It tries to explain how the Operation Gatekeeper which has been implemented on the Californian border since 1994, led to a reorganization of border migration flows and to a substantial increase in the cross-border risks to which migrants are exposed. Based on case studies of families and follow-up assessment of mobility between the west central region of Mexico and California, an interpretation is given of the community and family strategies implemented to bypass border controls. These strategies are based on the intensification of a specific social capital and the mobilization of organizational resources supported by solidarity and social networks.

7Repatriation of Burkinabe nationals from the Ivory Coast. Return to their country and new migration projects

Sylvie Bredeloup

Despite the acts of violence against foreigners during the civil war in Ivory Coast, most people from Burkina Faso stayed there. Comparatively few of them chose to go back to Burkina Faso. Even though the Burkinabe government gave considerable media coverage to the repatriation process, few people were affected. Some of them particularly traumatized by violence move back to towns or countryside in Burkina Faso on a long-term basis and try to use know-how acquired during migration. Others are already on the way back to Ivory Coast, thus intensifying migratory movements between the two countries and giving birth either to new migratory routes or new destinations.

8Towards north or south: the Nicaraguan immigration

Lucile Médina-Nicolas

Central America is considered as a traditional region of large international immigration. As increasing movements have been registered during the last years, the phenomenon is nowadays a key point in different discussions in the Isthmus region. In this chapter, the migratory dynamics is analysed starting from the case of Nicaragua. Migration is here an answer to a deep situation of crisis based on varied elements as poverty, political violence and natural disasters. Currently, the Nicaraguan migratory field is characterized by a net bipolarity, with streams traditionally headed towards Costa Rica and fast-increasing movements towards the United States. Dealing with those migration flows, widely illegal and source of tension in host countries, turns out to be particularly complex. Strong political, economic and social tensions are observed as well in host countries as between the latter and the country of origin. Anyway, the focus on migration is changing. New forms of social mobilization of the migrants abroad and relations between them and the national authorities lead to reconsider the phenomenon and to transform the discourse on the links between migration, integration and development.

9International migrations and resource mobilization. Malians Abroad and the question of development

Seydou Keïta

Mali, a landlocked Sahelian country, has been experiencing migratory movements since the pre-colonial time. The phenomenon increased over the last decades due to endemic drought, economic crisis and political problems. In fact, the Malian immigration or what is called Malians Abroad is distinguished by some development projects, which go beyond mere satisfaction of domestic needs. The High Council for Malians Abroad created after the March, 1991 Revolution contributed to reveal the economic and political implications related to this migration.

10Migrant remittances, mobility trajectories and development. Comparative analysis in Bolivia and Mexico

Virginie Baby-Collin

Geneviève Cortes

Laurent Faret

As part of a reflection on the impacts of migration on the development process in emigration regions, this chapter offers a compared analysis of the links between migrant remittances, mobility and migration trajectories in Bolivia and Mexico. Starting with a methodological proposition on the measure of remittances and their use in receiving localities, the objective is to highlight two differentiated models of remittance use, developed at the individual and family level (productive or unproductive use). If these models are the expression of differentiated rural contexts, they also include elements that deal with the intensity and the rhythm of mobility (degree of circulation, migratory duration, etc.). On the basis of this analysis, the authors focus on the significant development of plural productive investment strategies and dynamics of pluriactivity in the places of origin. The socioeconomic advancement of the migrants who implement such strategies reveals the strong interaction between the logics of local socioeconomic development and the dynamics of migration/circulation on an international level. The creation of new activities related to the migrants taking roots in their places of origin turns these migrants into key actors of the local development. But more widely, the question about the relations in the long term between the migration dynamics and the development processes and models in the regions concerned is raised.

11Migration trajectories, projects and remittances: the case of the Mexican migrants from Veracruz

Francis Mestries

This chapter analyses the immigration projects to the United States of Mexican people as related to the use of remittances. Migrants are mainly peasants from the Veracruz area who were made bankrupt by the coffee crisis. The various trajectories of migrants are discussed according to the migration tradition of their community, their family life and their social networks; hence a hierarchy of needs, spending and investing strategies of these remittances is inferred. Then, this paper deals with the ambivalent description made by the migrants about the migratory process, which is considered both as a mandatory but transient period in their life, in the hope of returning home and living there permanently.

12The migratory strategies developed by the Burkinabé in the Ivory Coast and the role of social networks

Alain Bonnassieux

Several hundred thousand Burkinabé have returned to their home country since 1999 due to the crisis in the Ivory Coast. Many of them went back to the Ivory Coast even though the situation was unstable up to 2007. This behaviour is explained partly by the difficulty of reintegration experienced by those who have few family ties in Burkina Faso. Furthermore, the old settlement patterns characteristic of the Burkinabé diaspora in Ivory Coast and the various positions held by his (her) members play a decisive role. The increasing mobility displayed by migrants on a territory including Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso is also highly significant because it contributes to the social reproduction of populations confronted with economic and social insecurity. Even though the mobilization of family and ethnic networks has been one of the key factors in consolidating the positions held by the Burkinabé diaspora in the economy especially in rural areas, it makes it vulnerable due to the increasing frustrations caused in a tense situation.

13The principle of decreasing return. The return migration as a new immigration?

Jorge Durand

The migration phenomenon has been analyzed in detail for more than a century. Throughout time, several theories have been developed to explain and understand such event. However, we know little about return migration. In this chapter, we analyze this final phase of the migration experience considering all the migration theories. We also propose a typology for return migrants and we develop a new interpretation and a new analytical category to understand and explain this phenomenon.

14Intrafamily dynamics and international migration. Migrants from Veracruz (Mexico): obligations and ties

Alberto Del Rey Poveda

André Quesnel

This chapter analyses family and intergenerational dynamics in a rural setting in the State of Veracruz, Mexico. These dynamics are linked to an increase in migration towards the northern border and the USA during the 1990s in the context of institutional and economic reforms, including the 1992 Land Reform. The agrarian situation of families can be linked to the nature of their migration projects (destination, financing, duration, labour market integration and return). The ownership of land property increases the probability of a move to the United States, but it is the management and transfer of that property that appear to be crucial in the definition of the migration projects adopted by younger generations.

First, this chapter focuses especially on the position of the father, on his involvement in the migration project of the migrant, his management of the journey, the organization of the return and the possible investment in the local community or “patrimonialisation”. Migration to the USA becomes a resource unevenly shared between families.

Second, it analyzes family capacities to – implicitly – organize a new family economy, an «archipelago economy» which requires a redefinition of intergenerational and gender relationships for each member of the family through the land transfer system. The foothold gained by younger generations today implies the control of a non-territorialized family economy and the development of migratory resources, and more generally of extra-local resources. Thus, in contrast, to most families the uncertainty linked to the long-term absence of younger generations questions their ties, their obligations and their role in domestic organisation and the process of social reproduction.

15The ages of migration. Life cycle, projects and spatial relations of Nepalese migrants in India

Tristan Bruslé

This chapter deals with the spatial relations developed by migrants, in relation to their life cycle, through the example of Nepalese temporary migrants in India. Taking into account the hypothesis that the value of places depends on the migrants’ projects, it is shown that the value of space changes with the migratory cycle. Young bachelor migrants, free from constraints imposed by their parents, go freely from town to town: migration places have the same value as long as work is available. After getting married, working in India becomes compulsory. Migrants do not wander anymore but tend to go every year to the same town. As temporary migration only enables migrants to fulfil their family’s basic needs and as feelings of shamefulness and exploitation are strong, Indian places are very much underrated. Temporary migration does not challenge its relations to the village which remains the only spatial foundation of their identity. Only more successful migrants, who can accumulate economic or social capital, turn Indian places into places of hope that can also bear some village-like values.

16School strategies and new immigrants in the suburbs of the United States

David Giband

The significant growth of new immigration leads to modifications to the ethno-spatial relations in US metropolitan areas. In Philadelphia, the examination of settlements for newcomers reveals new socio-spatial patterns. Among the latter, educational strategies play a decisive role in the interplay between places of departure and arrival. School choices and local educational opportunities are involved in the structuring of transnational flows and in the suburban sprawl of newcomers instead of concentrations in ethnic enclaves. On the basis of the educational strategies developed by Indian and Hispanic communities in Philadelphia, the aim is to understand to what extent school strategies interact on both transnational and metropolitan migrations.

17Places and memory. The Haitian vodou from French Guiana

Maud Laëthier

Based on research conducted in French Guiana and Haiti, this paper deals with the ethnic and religious practices by focusing on the religious “tradition” and the “intercultural encounter”. The vodou cults are considered here as one of the sources for different kinds of identities resulting from the migratory situation of Haitians in French Guiana. Haiti, the place of origin, becomes a place of memory and a major reference. It raises the question of identity strategies which adapt to the hierarchy and overlapping of relationships resulting from the association of two territories.

18Bolivian migration in Argentina and popular religiosity. Cultural practices, social networks and cohesion

Susana María Sassone

The popular religiosity of the Bolivian migrants in Argentina has been increasing since the early 1960s, especially in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (MABA). This chapter deals with the territorialization of their catholic religious practices and the spread of Bolivian cults. Spaces of life and real-life experiences are shaped by religious beliefs, as is shown by the numerous religious meeting places in a number of districts with first and second generation Bolivian migrants. It is a multiple local strategy, each celebration meaning that Bolivia and Argentina meet. Multiple forms of territoriality seem to exist only through these back and forth movements and the dialectic of here and there. The reproduction of popular religiosity in the places of arrival is part of the transnational migration space.

19The living and the dead in Mexican migrations. A system of relationships characterized by mobility

Françoise Lestage

The migrant’s choice concerning the burial place breaks with the multi-territorialisation and the circulation which characterized migration because it settles the deceased for ever and attaches him to a party of its lineage. Therefore, this irrevocable settlement and post-mortem identity are in stark contrast to the complex and subtle identifications of the living. However, this is only one aspect of the general system that governs the living and the dead, wherever the residences of the first and the burial places of the second are located. This chapter shows that it is necessary to consider funeral practices and rites as a whole and to link them to a social space characterized by generalized mobility and structured by it.

© IRD Éditions, 2009

Conditions d’utilisation :