Algerian immigrants in London (United Kingdom) and Valencia (Spain): towards a new migration and labour model?

Djilali Beloufa, Kouider (2013) Algerian immigrants in London (United Kingdom) and Valencia (Spain): towards a new migration and labour model? Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


During the last two decades, one of the most important changes in the geography of Algerian migration has been its gradual spread to some "new" contexts, that can be located differently in a spectrum of various characteristics, such as geographical location, historical-cultural links, existence of networks, and profiles of Algerian migrants, among others. In this qualitative research, two purposefully-selected samples of Algerian male and female migrants in London and Valencia were interviewed, as well as some key informants from several organisations, in addition to participant observation in different migrant settings. This led to the comparison of two context-related cases of migration in order to respond mainly four questions, viz, the reasons for Algerian migration to the VK and Spain as relatively different and new host countries, patterns of insertion as well as mobility within the local labour markets, the differences between the UK and Spain in terms of providing opportunities for social mobility versus entrapment, and the role of changing networks in influencing Algerian migration to the UK and Spain. While this research corroborates the inadequacy of a "grand theory" of migration, it confirms the suitability of a "multi•level theory" (Castles and Miller, 2003) that combines human agency and structural factors. The in-depth interviews in use favoured a downright consideration of the system "émigré-immigre" (Sayad, 1997), as well as the active role of migrants in shaping their lives before, during and after migration. There was a wide diversity of motives for migration and various patterns of insertion and mobility within the labour market, as well as outcomes for migrant workers. The networks of relatives, friends and institutions, as well as smugglers, were crucial in either the initiation of migration or the accommodation of migrants into the receiving areas. A gender-related approach was adopted as to bring to light the differences and similarities in migration between Algerian females and males, and to enhance the growing role of the former in Algerian migration.

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