In recent years, tens of thousands of young Africans have left the shores of Senegal and other West African countries in small boats headed for Spain's Canary Islands. Most have spent a week or more at sea, and unknown numbers have died in the attempt. Given the danger of the journey, we ask how it could become a large-scale social phenomenon. The analysis focuses on how prospective migrants assess and relate to the risks of migration. We show that risk taking is shaped by context-specific interaction of disparate factors. These include economic obstacles to reaching social adulthood, notions of masculinity, pride and honor, and religion, in the form of sufi Islam.
Beyond "Kamikaze Migrants": Risk Taking in West African Boat Migration to Europe
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María Hernández-Carretero, Jørgen Carling; Beyond "Kamikaze Migrants": Risk Taking in West African Boat Migration to Europe. Human Organization 1 December 2012; 71 (4): 407–416. doi: https://doi.org/10.17730/humo.71.4.n52709742v2637t1
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