89.4 Between silent resistance and power of action: “I am... not I come from”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:15 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Laura ODASSO , Laboratoire Cultures et Sociétés en Europe, Université Libre de Bruxelles - Groupe de recherche sur les Relations Ethniques, les Migrations et l’Egalité GERME, Strasbourg, France
The intervention deals with the question of the change and continuity of stigmatization, as a form of “doing othering”, in the process of migration of North African women. According to specific configuration and social context, the “doing othering” assumes different expressions: from discredit to marginalization to exclusion until racism.  I am taking a biographical approach, analyzing and crossing life stories collected. The “biographical work” [Inowlocki & Lutz, 2000] allows me to analyze this phenomenon in its genesis, to reconstruct the process of development and transformation, as well as the logic of action of the actors.

Based on two case studies one from France and one from Italy, it will be demonstrated how the stigmatization towards a Moroccan migrant women - as well as the self perception - developed, how it changed, and how under some circumstances it exhibits a certain continuity. In doing so, the interplay between the past and the present as well as the intra-biographical and societal developments are considered. These cases present different typologies of “stigma”, as“physical deformities, “blemishes of individual character” and the central one for this issue, “ tribal stigma” [Goffmann, 1963]. These emerge in interaction, for this reason also the husband’s, friends’ and peer’s voices are considered, in order not to take the categories of gender and the "rapports de racisation” [Pfefferkorn, 2010] isolated, but rather to articulate them in a intersectional complex perspective that considers age, gender, social class, "race" and ethnical relations.

I come to the conclusion that “the resources of biographical experience” [Delcroix, 2004 ] could strength the resistance and the “power of action” [Le Quentrec, 2009] of migrant women in reaching a full emancipation (realized here thanks to the family life – intermarriage – and to the work) to find their place between “being who they are” and “coming from”.