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Accepted Paper:

International migration - virtue or vice? Different perspectives from Cameroon  
Michaela Pelican (University of Cologne)

Paper long abstract:

This presentation deals with diverse imaginaries of migration among youths in two Cameroonian cities, namely Bamenda and Yaoundé. It is based on an on-going research project on transnational relations of Cameroonian Muslim migrants.

While Yaoundé is the national capital, Bamenda is the headquarters of the Anglophone northwest, an area generally opposed to the ruling regime and claiming historical and contemporary political marginalization. Public discourse and imaginaries of international migration vary considerably in these two areas. This is reflected in differences in envisioned destinations as well as terminologies and concepts. In recent years, the generally positive consideration of international migration has given way to more critical perspectives. While in Yaoundé "the dangers of illegal migration" have become the topic of the day (promoted by international organisations in collaboration with local NGOs), youths in Bamenda are consciously comparing the advantages and disadvantages of an envisaged life abroad on the basis of imparted experiences of migrant family members and friends. International migration is thus viewed in a broad discursive spectrum from virtue to vice, and perceptions are influenced by regional, national, and international political discourse.

Panel W001
A new virtue? Imaginaries and regimes of mobility across the globe
  Session 1