Migration, Transit and the Informal

Homeless West-African Migrants in Copenhagen

Bidragets oversatte titel: Migration, transit og det uformelle: Hjemløse vestafrikanske migranter I København.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

In the last couple of years, Copenhagen has been receiving new types of visitors: young, resourceful men from southern Europe in search of job opportunities. Many are of West-African origin, and have lived many years in Spain and Italy. As a result of the economic recession, they are now moving northwards. Being Schengen residents, their entry is legal, but obtaining a work permit remains almost impossible. Instead, a wide range of geographical areas are being scrutinized for alternative income opportunities. Therefore, they relapse into a position as modern ‘ hunter-gatherers’ surviving through a mix of private charity, collection of bottles and informal odd jobs, moving between the Nordic capitals as opportunities for income generation arise.
The emergence of such hyper mobile and flexible proletariat challenges many of our perceptions on migration. Conceptions of integration, citizenship and minimum wages and – standards may need reconsideration just as the self-image of private charities may need adjust to a new group of users, who are only here on transit. The paper investigates the motivations of these new migrants, their survival strategies and the strategies put forward to avoid the potential downward spiral of surviving as a homeless migrant in Copenhagen.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Homelessness
Vol/bind11
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)131-151
Antal sider17
ISSN2030-2762
StatusUdgivet - 15 jun. 2017

Emneord

  • West-African migrants, homelessness, informal street work, Copenhagen

Citer dette

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title = "Migration, Transit and the Informal: Homeless West-African Migrants in Copenhagen",
abstract = "In the last couple of years, Copenhagen has been receiving new types of visitors: strong, resourceful men from southern Europe in search of job opportunities. Many are of West African origin, and have lived for many years in Spain and Italy. As a result of the economic recession, they are now moving northwards. Being Schengen residents, their entry is legal, but obtaining a work permit remains almost impossible. Instead, a wide range of geographical areas are being considered as alternative places to make a living. Therefore, these men lapse into the position of modern ‘hunter-gatherers’ surviving through a mix of private charity, bottle and recycling collection, informal odd jobs, etc, while moving between the Nordic capitals as opportunities for income generation arise. The emergence of such a hyper mobile and flexible proletariat challenges many of our perceptions of migration. Also, our conceptions of integration, citizenship, minimum wages and living standards may need reconsideration, just as the self-image of private charities may need to adjust to a new group of beneficiaries, who are usually transient. This paper investigates the motivations of these new migrants, their survival strategies, and the strategies put forward to avoid the potential downward spiral of surviving as a homeless migrant in Copenhagen.",
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Migration, Transit and the Informal : Homeless West-African Migrants in Copenhagen. / Juul, Kristine.

I: European Journal of Homelessness, Bind 11 , Nr. 1, 15.06.2017, s. 131-151.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

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N2 - In the last couple of years, Copenhagen has been receiving new types of visitors: strong, resourceful men from southern Europe in search of job opportunities. Many are of West African origin, and have lived for many years in Spain and Italy. As a result of the economic recession, they are now moving northwards. Being Schengen residents, their entry is legal, but obtaining a work permit remains almost impossible. Instead, a wide range of geographical areas are being considered as alternative places to make a living. Therefore, these men lapse into the position of modern ‘hunter-gatherers’ surviving through a mix of private charity, bottle and recycling collection, informal odd jobs, etc, while moving between the Nordic capitals as opportunities for income generation arise. The emergence of such a hyper mobile and flexible proletariat challenges many of our perceptions of migration. Also, our conceptions of integration, citizenship, minimum wages and living standards may need reconsideration, just as the self-image of private charities may need to adjust to a new group of beneficiaries, who are usually transient. This paper investigates the motivations of these new migrants, their survival strategies, and the strategies put forward to avoid the potential downward spiral of surviving as a homeless migrant in Copenhagen.

AB - In the last couple of years, Copenhagen has been receiving new types of visitors: strong, resourceful men from southern Europe in search of job opportunities. Many are of West African origin, and have lived for many years in Spain and Italy. As a result of the economic recession, they are now moving northwards. Being Schengen residents, their entry is legal, but obtaining a work permit remains almost impossible. Instead, a wide range of geographical areas are being considered as alternative places to make a living. Therefore, these men lapse into the position of modern ‘hunter-gatherers’ surviving through a mix of private charity, bottle and recycling collection, informal odd jobs, etc, while moving between the Nordic capitals as opportunities for income generation arise. The emergence of such a hyper mobile and flexible proletariat challenges many of our perceptions of migration. Also, our conceptions of integration, citizenship, minimum wages and living standards may need reconsideration, just as the self-image of private charities may need to adjust to a new group of beneficiaries, who are usually transient. This paper investigates the motivations of these new migrants, their survival strategies, and the strategies put forward to avoid the potential downward spiral of surviving as a homeless migrant in Copenhagen.

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