This article investigates the role of transnational family networks in facilitating undocumented migration, by analyzing the case of Eritrean refugees on the move towards Europe. Based on the consideration that irregular border-crossing usually involves not only migrants and smugglers but also family members financing these journeys from abroad, I illustrate that their economic support is rarely voluntary. This is mainly due to the moral dilemmas of funding potentially fatal border-crossings. The economic assistance of kin instead results from tough negotiations between them and the migrants in transit. Safety, responsibility, membership of the community and money are at stake in these negotiations. Based on my fieldwork and ongoing contacts with Eritrean refugees on their way to Europe, I show that migrants play an active role in the smuggling process, especially when they move to Libya without their relatives’ permission. In so doing, migrants gamble that kinship and emotional solidarity on the one hand, and the fear of smugglers’ retaliations on the other, will lead their relatives to pay despite their initial refusal. The analysis of these negotiations and of the socio-cultural context in which they are embedded highlights the importance of emic moral rules to a better understanding of mobility and immobility in current refugee scenarios. Specifically, I argue that movers, among prospective high-risk migrants, are those who are more effective in mobilizing economic resources from their transnational networks, exploiting shared moralities and emotional bonds with left-behind kin and relatives abroad.
‘MY UNCLE CANNOT SAY “NO” IF I REACH LIBYA’: UNPACKING THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF BORDERCROSSING AMONG ERITREANS HEADING TO EUROPE / Belloni, Milena. - In: HUMAN GEOGRAPHY. - ISSN 1942-7786. - 9(2) 2016(2016), pp. 47-56.
|Titolo:||‘MY UNCLE CANNOT SAY “NO” IF I REACH LIBYA’: UNPACKING THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF BORDERCROSSING AMONG ERITREANS HEADING TO EUROPE|
|Titolo del periodico:||HUMAN GEOGRAPHY|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Citazione:||‘MY UNCLE CANNOT SAY “NO” IF I REACH LIBYA’: UNPACKING THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF BORDERCROSSING AMONG ERITREANS HEADING TO EUROPE / Belloni, Milena. - In: HUMAN GEOGRAPHY. - ISSN 1942-7786. - 9(2) 2016(2016), pp. 47-56.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03.1 Articolo su rivista (Journal article)|