Advertisement

Senegalese Families Between Here and There

  • Cris Beauchemin
  • Kim Caarls
  • Valentina Mazzucato
Chapter

Abstract

While family reunification has become a major concern in Europe, with the view that migrants overuse their right to reunite, this chapter shows that Senegalese migrants are largely oriented towards their origin country. Migrants in Europe are predominantly engaged in transnational families, their spouse(s) and/or child(ren) being left behind in Senegal. They thus live transnational lives, involving comings and goings and various sorts of transfers and contacts. This pattern echoes the multi-residential family systems observed that have long been observed within Senegal. Benefiting from the transnational and longitudinal nature of the MAFE data, this chapter challenges the widely shared assumption that family reunification in Europe is the normal path followed by most migrants. The statistical results show that “living apart together” across borders is a long-lasting arrangement for many Senegalese migrants: 10 years after migration, 82% of the married migrants who left their spouses behind are still separated from them; and 88% of those who left a child behind in Senegal are still separated from it. It is quite common for such periods of separation to be ended by reunification at origin (i.e. in Senegal), when the migrant returns. As regards reunification with left-behind children, this is more common than reunification in Europe. On average, migrants who maintain a transnational family life are more vulnerable than other migrants: they are more frequently undocumented, less educated and of lower socio-economic status. In the end, the high prevalence of transnational families appears to be a mixed product of personal (individual or family) choices and policy constraints.

References

  1. Azoulay, M., & Quiminal, C. (2002). “Reconstruction des rapports de genre en situation migratoire. Femmes réveillées, hommes menacés en milieu soninké”. VEI enjeux, (128).Google Scholar
  2. Baizán, P., Beauchemin, C., & González-Ferrer, A. (2014). An origin and destination perspective on family reunification: The case of Senegalese couples. European Journal of Population, 30, 65–87. A paraître.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barou, J. (2001). La famille à distance: nouvelles stratégies familiales chez les immigrés d’Afrique Sahélienne. Hommes et migrations, 1232, 16–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barou, J. (2002). Familles africaines en France: de la parenté mutilée à la parenté reconstituée/par Jacques Barou. In M. Segalen (Ed.), Jeux de familles (pp. 157–171). Paris: CNRS.Google Scholar
  5. Bledsoe, C. (2008). “No Success without Struggle” revisited: West African Models of Socialization and Transnational Life in Spain. Conference “Researching transnational families, their children and the migration-development nexus”. University of Amsterdam: 11.Google Scholar
  6. Chaléard, J.-L., & Dubresson, A. (1989). “Un pied dedans, un pied dehors”: à propos du rural et de l’urbain en Côte d’Ivoire. Tropiques, lieux et liens: florilège offert à Paul Pélissier et Gilles Sautter (pp. 277–290). Paris: ORSTOM.Google Scholar
  7. Dial, F. B. (2008). Mariage et divorce à Dakar: itinéraires féminins. Paris-Dakar: Karthala-Crepos.Google Scholar
  8. Dupont, V., & Dureau, F. (1986). Migration et dynamique des villes moyennes en Afrique de l’ouest: le cas de quatre centres urbains en région de plantation (Côte d’Ivoire et Togo). S.l., ORSTOM Département urbanisation et socio-sytèmes urbains.Google Scholar
  9. Eremenko, T., & A. Gonzalez-Ferrer (2012). Explaining children migration patterns to France and Spain: Methodological challenges for cross-national research. PAA Conference. San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  10. Esteve, A., & Cortina, C. (2009). Trajectories to family formation of international migrants. XXVI International Population Conference. Marrakech: IUSSP.Google Scholar
  11. European Migration Network (2012). Misuse of the right to family reunification. EMN Inform. E. Commission: 4.Google Scholar
  12. Findley, S. (1997). Migration and family interactions in Africa. In A. Adepoju (Ed.), Family, population and development (pp. 109–138). London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  13. Flahaux, M.-L., Beauchemin, C., & Schoumaker, B. (2013). Partir, revenir: un tableau des tendances migratoires congolaises et sénégalaises. Migrations africaines: le co-développement en questions. In C. Beauchemin, L. Kabbanji, P. Sakho, & B. Schoumaker (Eds.), Essai de démographie politique (pp. 91–126). Paris: Armand Colin.Google Scholar
  14. González-Ferrer, A., Baizán, P., & Beauchemin, C. (2012). Child-parent separations among Senegalese migrants to Europe: Migration strategies or cultural arrangements? The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 643(1), 106–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Guilmoto, C. Z. (1998). Institutions and migrations. Short-term versus long-term moves in rural West Africa. Population Studies, 52(1), 85–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lalou, R., & Ndione, B. (2005). Stratégies migratoires et recomposition des solidarités dans un contexte de crise: l’exemple du Sénégal urbain Familles au nord, familles au sud (pp. 449–479). Louvain-la-Neuve: Academia-Bruylant.Google Scholar
  17. Locoh, T., & Mouvagha-Sow, M. (2005). Vers de nouveaux modèles familiaux en Afrique de l’Ouest. IUSSP Conference. Tours: 28.Google Scholar
  18. Lututala, M. (1989). L’ubiquité résidentielle africaine et le concept de migration. Etude de la population africaine, 2, 5–17.Google Scholar
  19. Marie, A. (1997). Les structures familiales à l’épreuve de l’individualisation citadine. In M. Pilon (Ed.), Ménages et familles en Afrique: approches des dynamiques contemporaines (pp. 279–299). Paris: Centre français sur la population et le développement.Google Scholar
  20. Mazzucato, V., & Schans, D. (2011). Transnational families and the well-being of children: Conceptual and methodological challenges. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73(4), 704–712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mondain, N. (2009a). Assessing the effects of out-migration on those left behind in Senegal: local family dynamics between change and continuity. XXVI International Population Conference. Marrakech: IUSSP.Google Scholar
  22. Mondain, N. (2009b). Rejoindre le domicile conjugal en milieu urbain: implications sur la formation des unions et la vie de couple au Sénégal. In M. A. Sanni, P. Klissou, R. Marcoux, & D. Tabutin (Eds.), Villes du Sud: dynamiques,diversités et enjeux démographiques et sociaux (pp. 247–271). Paris: Paris Éditions des Archives contemporaines, Agence universitaire de la francophonie.Google Scholar
  23. Poiret, C. (1996). Familles africaines en France: ethnicisation, ségrégation et communalisation. Paris, Montréal (Qc): CIEMI, L’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  24. Potts, D. (1997). Urban lives: adopting new strategies and adapting rural links. In C. Rakodi (Ed.), The Urban challenge in Africa: growth and management of its large cities (pp. 447–494). Tokyo/New York: United Nations University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Quiminal, C. (1991). Gens d’ici, gens d’ailleurs: migrations Soninké et transormations villageoises. Paris: C. Bourgois.Google Scholar
  26. Riccio, B. (2001). From “ethnic group” to “transnational community”? Senegalese migrants’ ambivalent experiences and multiple trajectories. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 27(4), 583–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Riccio, B. (2006). “Transmigrants” mais pas “nomades”: transnationalisme mouride en Italie. Cahiers d’études africaines, XLVI(1), 95–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Riccio, B. (2008). West African transnationalisms compared: Ghanaians and Senegalese in Italy. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34(2), 217–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sinatti, G. (2011). ‘Mobile transmigrants’ or ‘unsettled returnees’? myth of return and permanent resettlement among Senegalese migrants. Population, Space and Place, 17(2), 153–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stark, O. (1991). The migration of labor. Cambridge-Oxford: B. Blackwell.Google Scholar
  31. Timera, M. (1996). Les Soninké en France: d’une histoire à l’autre. Paris: Karthala.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cris Beauchemin
    • 1
  • Kim Caarls
    • 2
    • 3
  • Valentina Mazzucato
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut national d’études démographiques (INED)ParisFrance
  2. 2.Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, KNAW/ RUGThe HagueThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations