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Accepted Paper:

Governing youth on the move. The case of unaccompanied migrant youth in Morocco, Spain and France  
Cléo Marmié (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)

Paper short abstract:

This contribution proposes to question the tension between performativity of childhood and performativity of adulthood in order to grasp the articulation between geographical (im)mobility, social action and progression towards adulthood for young people on the move from Morocco to Spain and France.

Paper long abstract:

"I braided my hair to age for the forest". Young people in transnational mobility, throughout their migratory journey, develop strategies for presenting themselves in a younger or older way, depending on their understanding of the institutional and community injunctions to which they are subject. Forced to negotiate and circulate between sometimes contradictory and competing age norms, young people gradually learn, along the way, about the issues of protection and/or vulnerability linked to minority and majority, in a continuous tension between 'performing childhood' and 'mimicking aldulthood' (Perrot, 2015; Paté, 2018). How does one become an adult in the course of a migratory journey? How do protection pathways influence the "becoming an adult" of young people engaged in a transnational process ? How do these young people move between age norms and renegotiate the boundaries of chronological and social age? How do institutional injunctions related to age translate, on the edge between 'state thought' (Sayad, 1999) and 'humanitarian reason' (Fassin, 2010), strategies for governing youth (Roux & Mazouz, 2015)? Based on a multi-situated field survey conducted in Morocco, Spain and France from 2020 to 2022 during the Covid-19 crisis as part of an ongoing doctoral research on youth who migrate alone, this contribution proposes to question the tension between over-autonomisation and infantilisation, between the performativity of childhood and the performativity of adulthood in order to grasp the articulation between geographical (im)mobility, social action and progression towards adulthood for young people on the move from Morocco to Spain and France.

Panel P087a
New anthropological perspectives on unaccompanied migrant youth in Europe and beyond I
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -