Nouvel article : « Migration, masculinity and social class: Insights from Pikine, Senegal »

Migration, masculinity and social class:
Insights from Pikine, Senegal
Sebastian Prothmann*

ABSTRACT
In the shattered economy of Dakar, many young men feel stuck in prolonged bachelorhood.
Handed-down role expectations can often not be met due to dire economic prospects. Drawing
on fieldwork in Pikine, an urban area within the Dakar region of Senegal, between 2011 and
2013, this article reflects upon the relation between risk, migration, social class and masculinity.
Through migration to unknown destinations and by enduring the many challenges and
hardships associated with it, in the hope of eventually reaching a higher social class upon
return, young men wish to fix and rewrite their masculine identities. To pursue this aim even
the oddest job in Europe becomes acceptable. At home, however, many work opportunities are
considered to be beneath their social class. Most male urbanites seek jobs that are rewarded
with respect and authority, and often assemble their choices about pursuing certain incomegenerating
activities considering notions of class.

* Independent researcher, Nuremberg

© 2017 The Author
International Migration © 2017 IOM
International Migration
Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ISSN 0020-7985


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