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Open Access Bushfalling at All Cost: The Economy of Migratory Knowledge in Anglophone Cameroon 1

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Bushfalling at All Cost: The Economy of Migratory Knowledge in Anglophone Cameroon 1

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Abstract Despite high financial costs, deportations and many frustrated departure attempts, young Anglophone Cameroonians maintain high aspirations for migration. In this article, I lay out the social rationalities of aspiring migrants, as well as the economic, symbolic and informational context of their emigration decisions. On the basis of three case studies, I analyze how information on emigration is controlled, processed, and evaluated. While discourses within migration policy often posit that aspiring migrants are naïve and uninformed, I demonstrate how migration choices and strategies are developed under circumstances more complex than can be grasped by the simplistic alternative between being informed or not informed about migratory risks. Rather than to consider flows of information, I argue what matters is whether or not information is trusted and how it is interpreted. By looking at the costs and gains of migration from the standpoint of aspiring migrants, this article shifts the focus towards migration dynamics at the point of departure.

Affiliations: 1: Law Faculty (Migration Law Section), Free University Amsterdam the Netherlands m.j.alpes@vu.nl

Abstract Despite high financial costs, deportations and many frustrated departure attempts, young Anglophone Cameroonians maintain high aspirations for migration. In this article, I lay out the social rationalities of aspiring migrants, as well as the economic, symbolic and informational context of their emigration decisions. On the basis of three case studies, I analyze how information on emigration is controlled, processed, and evaluated. While discourses within migration policy often posit that aspiring migrants are naïve and uninformed, I demonstrate how migration choices and strategies are developed under circumstances more complex than can be grasped by the simplistic alternative between being informed or not informed about migratory risks. Rather than to consider flows of information, I argue what matters is whether or not information is trusted and how it is interpreted. By looking at the costs and gains of migration from the standpoint of aspiring migrants, this article shifts the focus towards migration dynamics at the point of departure.

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2012-01-01
2016-08-26

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