PhD project at PRIO and the Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo.
Supervisor at PRIO: Jørgen Carling
Supervisor at University of Oslo: Katrine Fangen
This dissertation examines how individual and interpersonal, economic and social aspects of
migration and transnational dynamics are interconnected. The analysis is based on an ethnographic,
multi-sited study of Senegalese migration to Spain and the transnational dynamics generated by this
migration. I analyse how the motivations behind migration projects are informed by values, norms
and expectations that are reflected in social interaction. I moreover investigate the two-way
connections between individual migration trajectories and interpersonal ties between migrants and
their social relations. I examine the social dynamics that surround desires and projects to secure a
socially desirable position through migration and how social belonging at home is sought and
negotiated through the fulfilment of interpersonal obligations. Data was collected through interviews
and participant observation during eight months of fieldwork with Senegalese migrants and nonmigrants
in Spain and Senegal. The dissertation is guided by two overarching research questions:
- How do individual migration trajectories and relations between migrants and non-migrants affect each other?
- How are the economic and social aspects of migration interrelated?
These questions are explored through three conceptual entry points: money, moralities and
uncertainty. In combination, these concepts allow exploring interpersonal obligations and
expectations and how migration is imagined and approached in relation to local alternatives. The
analysis relates to different theoretical traditions and concepts, including migrant transnationalism
and transnational moralities, economic sociology, theories of solidarity and the gift, remittances,
imaginaries and hope.