«Alistair Hunter PhD by Research The University of Edinburgh Abstract Unlike many of their North African and West African compatriots who reunified ...»
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France’s migrant worker hostels and the dilemma of late-in-life return.
Alistair Hunter PhD by Research The University of Edinburgh Abstract Unlike many of their North African and West African compatriots who reunified with family and settled in France in the 1970s and 80s, the decision of migrant worker hostel residents not to return definitively to places of origin at retirement is puzzling. Firstly, it calls into question the assumptions of the ‘myth of return’ literature, which explains non-return on the basis of family localisation. In the case of ‘geographically-single’ hostel residents, however, the grounds for non-return cannot be family localisation, since the men’s families remain in places of origin. Secondly, older hostel residents also remain unmoved by the financial incentives of a return homewards, where their French state pensions would have far greater purchasing power. Instead of definitive return, the overwhelming preference of hostel residents is for back-and-forth migration, between the hostel in France and communities of origin. The aim of this dissertation is to resolve this puzzle, by asking: What explains the hostel residents’ preference for back-and-forth mobility over definitive return at retirement?
In order to make sense of these mobility decisions, several theories of migration are presented and evaluated against qualitative data from a multi-sited research design incorporating ethnography, life story and semi-structured interviews, and archive material. This fieldwork was carried out across France, Morocco and Senegal. Although no one theory adequately accounts for all the phenomena observed, the added value of each theory becomes most apparent when levels of analysis are kept distinct: at the household level as regards remittances; at the kinship/village level as regards re-integration in the home context; at the meso-level of ethnic communities in terms ofmigrants’ transnational ties; and at the macro-level of social systems concerning inclusion in healthcare and administrative organisations. Widening the focus beyond the puzzle/dilemma of late-in-life mobility, the thesis concludes by questioning what ‘home’ can mean for the retired hostel residents. An innovative way of theorising home – building on conventional conceptions of home based on territory and community – is outlined, arguing that to be ‘at home’ can also mean to be ‘included’ in different ‘social systems’. With this argument the thesis aims to contribute to broader debates on what it means for immigrants to belong and achieve inclusion in society.
The candidate declares a) that the thesis has been composed by the candidate alone, and (b) that the work is the candidate’s own, and (c) that the work has not been submitted for any other degree or professional qualification.
Signed (the candidate) Alistair Hunter Date N.B.
Some of the material in this thesis – notably parts of the Introduction, Chapter One
and the Conclusion – has been previously published in:
Hunter, A. (2011). Theory and practice of return migration at retirement: the case of migrant worker hostel residents in France. Population, Space and Place, 17(2), 179-192. doi:10.1002/psp.610
This article can be accessed at:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.webfeat.lib.ed.ac.uk/doi/10.1002/psp.610/abstract For my migrant grandmothers, Jean and Lorna, and in memory of my grandfathers, Sam and Tom.
Table of Contents ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
THE PUZZLE: FAMILY LOCALISATION AND POST-RETIREMENT MOBILITY............. 1 THE MEN, THE HOSTELS AND THE ROUND OF LIFE
THE MEN: SELECT BIOGRAPHIES
THE HOSTELS AND THE ROUND OF LIFE: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY
1. HISTORICAL, EMPIRICAL AND THEORETICAL CONTEXTS
1.1 HISTORICAL CONTEXT
1.2 EMPIRICAL CONTEXT: INTERNATIONAL RETIREMENT MIGRATION IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
1.3 THEORIES OF MIGRATION AND RETURN
2. METHODS AT THE MARGINS
2.1 PRELIMINARY CHOICES: WHAT RESEARCH DESIGN AND WHY?
2.2 WHO, WHERE AND WHEN?
2.3 HOW? PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
2.4 STATUS OF THE FINDINGS: EPISTEMOLOGY AND ETHICS
3. “VOS PAPIERS, MONSIEUR.” THE TEMPORAL AND TERRITORIAL DEMANDS OF
3.1 TERRITORIAL AND TEMPORAL DEMANDS LEAD TO TIMETABLED TRIPS
3.2 TIMETABLED LIVES
3.3 ENFORCEMENT OF TIMETABLING: STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
4. HOME / SICK: THE ‘HEALTH–MIGRATION ORDER’
4.1 HEALTH AND MOBILITY IN LATER LIFE
4.2 RELATIONS OF TRUST WITH FRENCH HEALTHCARE SERVICES TIMETABLE THE ‘VA-ET-VIENT’
4.3 NON-STANDARD BIOGRAPHIES IMPEDE HEALTHCARE
4.4 HEALTHCARE PROVISION IN COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN
5. FAMILY (RE-)VALUES: REMITTANCES, COMMUNICATION AND CONFLICT....... 155
5.1 REMITTANCES AS A WAY OF LIFE
5.2 CONTINUED DEPENDENCY ON REMITTANCES PAST RETIREMENT
5.3 NEW COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AMPLIFY THE REMITTANCE BURDEN
5.4 GENDER ROLES, FAMILY ROLES, AND CONFLICTS
6. GETTING ONE’S BEARINGS: RE-INTEGRATION TO THE HOME COMMUNITY.... 185
6.1 SKETCHES OF DEMBANCANÉ (SENEGAL) AND TIZNIT (MOROCCO)
6.2 PHYSICAL BEARINGS: CONSTRUCTING PLACE BACK HOME
6.3 SOCIAL BEARINGS: BEHAVIOURS AND MENTALITIES
7. FINAL RESTING PLACES: THE ONSET OF DEPENDENCY AND THE PENULTIMATEJOURNEY
7.1 END-OF-LIFE PREFERENCES AND ATTITUDES TO DEATH
7.2 THE PENULTIMATE JOURNEY
7.3 INSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON DEPENDENCY AND DEATH
7.4 RETIREMENT HOMES? CLASSIC AND EXPERIMENTAL MODELS
EMPIRICAL DILEMMAS OF LATE-IN-LIFE RETURN
EVALUATION OF THE THEORIES
RETIREMENT AND THE MEANING OF ‘HOME’: RE-VISITING AN OLD CONCEPT
APPENDIX 1. PUBLICITY MATERIALS
APPENDIX 2. THE LIFE GRID
APPENDIX 3. LIFE STORY INTERVIEW GUIDE
APPENDIX 4. GENERIC INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR ORGANISATIONS
Table of Figures FIGURE 1. AT THE ENTRY TO THE BUILDING
FIGURE 2. AT THE ENTRY TO THE BUILDING (#2)
FIGURE 3. CUPBOARD AND WASHBASIN.
FIGURE 4. HOSTEL BED
FIGURE 5. BEDSIDE LAMP AND SHELF.
FIGURE 6. THE KITCHEN: GAS HOBS AND SINK
FIGURE 7. THE DINING AREA (WITH CUBBY HOLES FOR STORING FOOD AND UTENSILS TO REAR).
........ 31 FIGURE 8. THE VIEW FROM THE KITCHEN (EIFFEL TOWER 12 KM AWAY)
FIGURE 9. SHOWER BLOCK AND SQUAT TOILET
FIGURE 10. SOUSS, SONINKE AND KABYLIA REGIONS IN RELATION TO FRANCE.
FIGURE 11. MAP A: SOUSS MOROCCO.
ADAPTED FROM LACROIX 2005.
FIGURE 12. MAP B: SONINKE LANDS.
ADAPTED FROM MANCHUELLE 1997
FIGURE 13. MAP C: KABYLIA, ALGERIA.
ADAPTED FROM MACMASTER 1993.
FIGURE 14. IN DAKAR, PREPARING FOR DEPARTURE TO DEMBANCANÉ.
FIGURE 15. A BUS WEIGHED DOWN (BY FAMILY EXPECTATIONS)
FIGURE 16. MOTORWAY, ANDALUSIA, SPAIN: THE ARABIC SCRIPT AT THE TOP SAYS ‘REST STOP’.
...... 79 FIGURE 17. THE PARIS-TIZNIT COACH, AT THE PORT OF ALGECIRAS, SPAIN.
BOX 18. UNCERTAIN DATES OF BIRTH
FIGURE 19. ONE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, FIVE DIFFERENT NAMES.
BOX 20. EXCERPT FROM INTERVIEW WITH JACQUES (BRANCH MANAGER, CNAV) 20 JULY 2009...... 120 BOX 21. ISSA’S VIEWS ON HEALTHCARE
BOX 22. LANGUAGE BARRIERS TO CARE IN THE HOSPITAL
FIGURE 23. FUUTA TORO (WITH DEMBANCANÉ IN BOTTOM RIGHT).
ADAPTED FROM DILLEY (2004). 188 FIGURE 24. TRADITIONAL BUILDING STYLE
FIGURE 25. MODERN BUILDING STYLE
FIGURE 26. MAP OF THE SOUSS-MASSA-DRAA REGION (WITH TIZNIT IN BOTTOM LEFT CORNER).
FIGURE 27. DOWNTOWN TIZNIT (THE HOTEL ON THE LEFT WAS BUILT BY A RETURNING EMIGRANT). 192
FIGURE 28. A NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT UNDER CONSTRUCTION ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF TIZNIT... 193FIGURE 29. LOOKING ON IN ENVY AT THE HOLIDAY VILLAS, FROM LHOUSSAINE’S PLOT.
FIGURE 30. THE LOCAL DUMP
FIGURE 31. JAABÉ’S BRICKS: FROM BUILDING BLOCKS.
.. TO FINISHED PRODUCT.
FIGURE 33. THE MATERNITY CLINIC
FIGURE 34. THE FORAGE (WATER WELL AND STORAGE TANK)
FIGURE 35. THE DEMBANCANÉ POST OFFICE.
FIGURE 36. "ROOMS LIKE COFFINS" SAY THE RESIDENTS.
FROM GINESY-GALANO 1984: 59.............. 225 Acknowledgements A great many people in several different countries have helped me in my doctoral work, be it through their knowledge, wisdom and advice, their encouragement and support, or their hospitality. On numerous occasions I have been humbled to receive all three.
Firstly I would like to express my immense gratitude to my three supervisors, Christina Boswell, Richard Freeman and Roland Dannreuther. I recognise how lucky I am to have benefited from their advice, encouragement, and rigorous oversight.
They each went out of their way to read drafts at short notice. I could not have wished for more supportive and inspirational teachers.
Still in Edinburgh, many fellow students have made my doctoral journey an easier and at times joyous experience. I would like to thank in particular: Nur Abdelkhaliq, Wahideh Achbari, Alex Beresford, Ekaterina Braginskaia, Oana Ciobanu, Tim Elrick, Marc Fletcher, Alex Goerne, Nathan Gove, Chandra Gurung, Toni Haastrup, Meryl Kenny, Amadu Khan, Stephan Koeppe, Victoria Loughlan, Laura Mann, Ewen McIntosh, Scott McIver, Hope Murray, Amy Niang, Chris Ogden, James Pattison, Lucy Ramasawmy, Lorenzo Ranalli, Rebecca Rotter, Ellen Stewart, Catherine-Rose Stocks-Rankin, and Amanda Wittman. For the cups of tea and general conviviality, I would like to thank my office mates: Martin Booker, Yunmi Choi, Holly Davis, Dan Keneally, Louise Maythorne, and Michal Rozynek.
At seminars and workshops in Edinburgh, Pontus Odmalm, Lynn Staeheli, and Liz Bomberg have given valuable feedback on draft chapters. Away from Edinburgh, I have been lucky to receive generous comments on papers given at a number of conferences. In particular I would like to thank: Marc Bernardot, Daniel Bertaux, Colin Clark, Stephanie Condon, Karen Fog-Olwig, Clare Holdsworth, Eleonore Kofman, Maja Korac, Ranka Primorac, Paul Thompson and Karin Wall. I would like to give a special mention to the late Michael Bommes, whose work is an inspiration to me.
In France, above all I owe a debt of gratitude to the men who received me in the hostels. Their wisdom, forbearance and generosity frequently overwhelmed me. I will never forget these moments and can only hope that what I have written has done i justice to their experiences. In particular I would like to thank the following individuals for welcoming me into their lives: Ali, Djiby, Cheikhou, Ahmed, Demba, Idrissa, and Bakery.
Many other individuals – not living in hostels but with a professional interest in this type of accommodation – generously gave their time, advice and expertise. In no particular order, I owe a debt of gratitude to: Ali El-Baz, Mohamed Smida, Mohamed Bhar, Omar Samaoli, Geneviève Petauton, Gilles Desrumaux, Françoise, Mohamed, Omar Gasmi and Sarah Petit, Quentin Dupuis, Yassine Chaïb, Rémi Gallou, Jim Ogg, and Sabrina Aouici, Hamid Salmi, Anna Nowak, Mohamed in Gennevilliers, Didier, Frédéric and Clarinda in Argenteuil, Benjamin in Argenteuil, Alliatte Chiahou, Serge, Jérôme, Pierre-Yves, Alima, Assiba and Sophie, Anne, Stéphanie, Edouard Cuel, Damien, Lucile, Amandine and Elisa, and Valérie Zilli.
In Morocco, as in Senegal, I received a very warm welcome wherever I went.
In Rabat, Mme Mouleen at Fondation Hassan II and the staff of the Ministry of Moroccans Resident Abroad were very accommodating and were able to meet me at short notice. In Tiznit and Taliouine the staff of Migrations et Développement were immensely helpful: I would like to thank Mohamed, Lhoussaine, Slimane and Tarik.
Finally, a special mention should be made of Lahcen Benouari and Abdelkrim Chaouri at Tiznit Municipal Council, who went out of their way to make my stay in Tiznit a most comfortable experience.
In Dakar, I am extremely grateful to Yamadou and Yakhouba Diarra, and their extended family, for the warm welcome I received there prior to travelling east to Dembancané. Dr Papa Demba Fall at Cheikh Anta Diop University was also very helpful in the advice and information he provided. As for my stay in Dembancané, this was a truly humbling experience. Above all, I will never forget the hospitality and the welcome shown to me by Djiby, Cheikhou, Demba, Harouna, Moussa, Syaka, Sirri and their respective families.