"Les Mbengis": migration, gender, and family : the moral economy of transnational Cameroonian migrants' remittances

Atekmangoh, Christina

Genève : Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement, 2017 . - XXII, 391 p.

Directeur de thèse : Professeur Jean-Pierre Jacob

Abstract: This study is about transnational migration (familiarly called “bushfalling”) and remittance flows to Cameroon. With the current dire economic state, Cameroonians increasingly aspire to go abroad to make a living. Migrants achieve this through a collective (family) strategy and with the help of migration brokers. Relations between migrants and the family that stays in Cameroon can be characterized as follows: Families raise and educate their children to become adults. In return to giving their children the “gift of life”, families expect reciprocity, best secured through economic success abroad and the sending of remittances by migrants. As families in Cameroon heavily contribute to the funding of migration trajectories, often by selling properties such as land or houses or borrowing money, they also expect a return on their investments. All that constitutes what I have called the moral economy of transnational remittances. Within this framework, I have understand remittances to be a composite of financial, material, and cultural flows—maintaining and transforming social and kinship ties. The thesis proposes also a large exploration of themes in relation to transnational migration: why and how Cameroonians migrate (the role of the operational family in terms of decision and funding; the role of migration brokers through the identification of “lines” and the provision of the necessary papers); the moral justification for migration; the ways social relations and customs are changed by status gained through migration; the ways people explain the failure of migration projects, the difficulties to stay abroad; the matrimonial strategies to go and stay abroad.

HEITH 1197


The record appears in these collections:
Master's Dissertations and PhD Theses > PhD Theses

 Record created 2017-03-22, last modified 2017-05-04

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)