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  • When Migration Becomes the Norm: Ingredients of an Ordinary Crisis

    Milena Belloni

    Chapter from the book: Belloni, M. 2019. The Big Gamble: The Migration of Eritreans to Europe.


    Chapter 1 investigates the aspirations of young men and women, trapped in the hardships of the national service in contemporary Eritrea. Drawing from ethnographic research in urban and rural areas, the chapter illustrates how, within a context of chronic crisis, emigration, even in its most dangerous and tragic aspects, has become normalized. Many Eritrean youth and their families, tend to perceive migration at all cost as the only alternative to a life “without future”. While investigating the daily struggle of young men and women to evade from the social, generational and geographic immobility, this chapter accounts for the importance of aspirations and imaginaries to understand young Eritreans’ desire to move elsewhere. By elaborating on the concept of cosmologies of destinations, this chapter describes widespread hierarchies of preferred destinations ordered along the perceived possibilities to achieve freedom, stability and self-realization there.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Belloni, M. 2019. When Migration Becomes the Norm: Ingredients of an Ordinary Crisis. In: Belloni, M, The Big Gamble. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.82.b

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    Published on Dec. 17, 2019