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Accepted Paper:

«On reste là!» Values of mobility and immobility in the struggles about clandestine immigrants in France  
Saskia Cousin (Université Paris Descartes)

Paper short abstract:

Based on several years of participant observation, we suggest an analysis of the values attributed to notions of mobility and sedentary as part of public discourses by migrants, legalization militants and public administrations.

Paper long abstract:

Whatever reason may have motivated their migration to France, stories of migrants from West Africa have two characteristics: (1) travelling is a desirable activity, an important element in the education of young men; (2) in their African travels, besides to Europe, their 'mobility skills' well equal those of global travellers. Though, once arrived in France, only values related to sedentarity are taken into account by public administrations and what could be called the 'public gaze'. If the mobility paradigm seems to be relevant to understand the migrants' world experience, it is never a claim or a claimable value. Their ability of being mobile can thus be seen as a handicap for public administrations. It is as well denied by those militants struggling for the legalization of their political status. Most of the migrants can not publicly state any desires other than living a life based on immobility.

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