Accepted paper:

"Social stratification and collective identity among Tandroy migrants of pastoralist background in the city of Toliara (Madagascar)".


Elisabeth Rossé (Chercheuse affiliée au LESC, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents how social networks created in a situation of migration impact and create social conflicts among semi-urban Tandroy, pastoral people who live between their native region and the city of Toliara (Madagascar).

Paper long abstract:

Tandroy are a pastoral population from the most southern region of Madagascar (Androy). They possess important herds of zebu, which constitute their main wealth. The ritual sacrifice of zebus is an important vector of communication with the ancestors and of production of social identity. Since the 1930's, migrations became a way of life, often in the continuity of the transhumance. People live most of the time in a bi-residential situation between Androy region and the city of Toliara, sharing their time between pastoral activities and precarious jobs in the city. Social identity remains strongly bound to the ancestral land and important rituals are performed in the home village. Therefore, the constitution of a herd remains a crucial objective even for urban migrants. My research showed that the social stratification of Tandroy in the urban context of the city of Toliara is largely based on social networks created through migration, and reflects regional disparities of development of infrastructures in Androy region. I will describe this social stratification through a crisis which arose in 2013 within the association of the Tandroy of Toliara, historically led by Tandroy working as rickshaw men and defending characteristic pastoral social values of solidarity. I show how the conflict, that divided the association in two rival camps, reveals two different ways in which Tandroy people politically relate to the local territory, and tackles the underlying issue of the transmission of the collective Tandroy identity.

panel P067
New mobilities and translocal social practices of African (post)pastoralist societies