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Camerounais à Oran (Algérie) : Parcours migratoires, insertions urbaines et lieux de sociabilité

Abstract : This thesis focuses on the presence of Cameroonian migrants in the city of Oran, Algeria, which the vast majority of them consider as a « transit country » regardless of how long they stay therein. This thesis is structured around three main themes: migratory journeys, integration into the city of Oran, and a detailed ethnography of the Cameroonian maquis, places of sociability and leisure. This study focuses mainly on the community organization developed by Cameroonians in Algeria and the way they fit into a society that rejects them. The contextualisation of sub-Saharan immigration in Algeria shows that it is a sensitive subject in a country which does not accept the presence of these migrants. By tracing back their migratory journeys, the causes for departure from their home country as well as their hopes for a future in Europe and their personal experiences of their road trips are analysed. The routes used are subject to changes depending on the policies of the States concerned and migrants are in a constant vulnerability that exposes them throughout the journey to the violence of the different actors of mobility. On the migration route, ghettos are housings of communal self-organization, free from the laws of the host country and whose uncertain existence is subject to the vagaries of evictions. In these places where the rules are strictly defined, there is mutual assistance but also exploitation, hierarchical figures exercising their power over transient migrants. In these circumstances, the pattern of couples is both protective and predatory of women and is very precarious: generally, it is a temporary arrangement that is closely linked to the migration situation and allows each partner to have access to certain services. From the detailed description of several settlements and neighborhoods occupied by the migrants, their integration into the city of Oran is presented. Economies, tagged as “informal” or even illegal, are deployed in a very specific context where they do not have access to the formal labour market. In a society from which they are rejected on all sides by both the state power and the local population, migrants develop their own community organization, with its mutual aid system, hierarchy, rules and sanctions, in particular in order to make up for the shortcomings caused by their impossible integration. This system created in migration, delimiting the status and roles of each one and different from the value system of the country of origin, allows Cameroonians to face together the trials related to their life in Algeria. This informal organization, although often effective in providing aid and regulating conflicts, could also have flaws and abuses, and some Cameroonians could be dissatisfied. The allegiances put forward by Cameroonians and the plurality of inter-ethnic relations between Cameroonians and Algerians are also described, in a context where religious intolerance and anti-black racism are openly expressed, giving rise to acts of discrimination. The ethnography of the maquis finally makes it possible to present these informal bars-restaurants run by Cameroonian migrants and intended for a sub-Saharan clientele. These places of first welcome for women traveling alone, are both on the margins and inside the city and are central in the life of Cameroonian migrants by their social dimension.
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Contributor : Jeanne Bureau <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 18, 2021 - 11:18:14 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - 3:35:37 AM
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Jeanne Bureau. Camerounais à Oran (Algérie) : Parcours migratoires, insertions urbaines et lieux de sociabilité. Sociologie. Université de Paris, 2020. Français. ⟨tel-03113230⟩



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