Accepted Paper:

Commonalities, continuity and contrast in internal and transnational Senegalese mobilities  

Authors:

María Hernández Carretero (University of Oslo)
Jørgen Carling (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines internal, cross-border and transnational mobilities in and from Senegal. It seeks to highlight connections between the two and continuities and contrasts in the interpersonal dynamics and patterns of immobility that foster and result from these different forms of mobility.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines attitudes to and experiences of internal, cross-border and transnational mobilities in and from Senegal. It seeks to highlight connections between them as well as continuities and contrasts in the interpersonal dynamics and patterns of immobility that foster, allow and are shaped by these different forms of mobility. Internal and transnational mobilities are connected in that the former may be a prelude to, or undertaken in expectation of, the latter. Similar negotiations of interpersonal and financial interactions moreover underlie and result from both internal and international migration. Moving away from one's family and community can be expected to entail benefits for accumulation because of better earning opportunities but also fewer requests or opportunities for spending and better conditions for business as compared to being among one's relatives. Transnational mobility represents greater advantages in those respects, but carries interpersonal trade-offs. The prevalence of internal migration in Senegal means spousal separation is not unique to international migration but bears different implications. For women, a husband in Europe may be a better provider, but also a more absent one that cannot be visited. Lastly, in both internal and transnational migration, the mobility of men to cities or abroad, whether seasonally or for longer periods, is accompanied by the permanence of women, children and the elderly at home. This permanence allows the men a high degree of mobility also abroad: alone, they are flexible to relocate between regions following emerging opportunities in a similar way to seasonal mobility within Senegal.

Panel P030
Mobilities, ethnographically connected: beyond the 'gap' between internal and transnational migration [ANTHROMOB]