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Borders, Mobilities and Migrations

Perspectives from the Mediterranean, 19–21st Century


Edited By Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Virginie Baby-Collin and Sylvie Mazzella

This book explores changes in the social, economic and political processes underpinning the mechanisms for the management of human mobility and cohabitation in the Mediterranean region, while suggesting comparisons with the situation in the Americas.
It considers the public policies that introduce such mechanisms at state, region or city level, and also explores the way that populations adapt to, breach or find ways of working around these systems.
The volume also attempts to evaluate the extent to which the reactions of the populations concerned can influence such systems. Relying on a historical perspective and covering a broad period of time from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, this book questions the increasing influence of processes born out of globalization upon present readjustments of mobility and territorial configurations.
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Introduction (Stéphane Mourlane, Pierre Sintès)


← 234 | 235 → Introduction

Stéphane MOURLANE, Pierre SINTÈS

The question of the memory of migration implicitly focuses on the object-frontier and treatment of this phenomenon can provide useful information on changes over recent decades. Until now, according to studies carried out mostly in their country of installation, migrants tended rather to be destined to a form of programmed forgetfulness as a result of their long-term residence in a new country. This is the conclusion that could be drawn, for example, from the writings of Abdelmayek Sayad who analyzed “the three ages of Algerian migration in France” in 1977. Sayad saw migration as a series of phases that inevitably led migrants towards a more or less successful insertion into the destination country and the disappearance of links with their land of origin. This kind of approach is the source of well-established typologies and classifications and is based on the reasons behind the decision to change country (pioneers, workers, families). All implicitly suggest a teleological approach towards migratory mobility, in that actors seem to pass inexorably, depending on the length of their stay, from the status of ‘new arrival’ to that of a fully established ‘immigrant’ with family. Such visions were appropriate at the time they were put forward. Indeed, the 1970s and 1980s saw the deliberate closure of European frontiers, even though integration seemed to be obligatory for foreigners seeking to contribute to the Old Continent’s economic reconstruction. As Dominique Schnapper (1992) has stated, zero immigration...

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