Along the borders of hospitality. Research to the influence of hostipitality experiences on West-African migrants trajectories

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Nowadays, the debate in the EU evolves about whether to let migrants enter at all or not and about how these migrants should be divided across EU member states. Seemingly, the migrant is thrown back and forth, whereby the migrant him/herself and his/her opinion on the matter is often neglected. Therefore, the migrant has been put in the centre in this research. It has been researched to what extent the trajectories of migrants are influenced by the hostipitality experiences they have during their travels. The literature firstly shows that migrants’ trajectories are highly diverse. Secondly, people tend to prescribe characteristics and behaviour to people who they consider to (not) belong to their own group. These thinking patterns can be ascribed to a hostipitality continuum along which all kind of hostipital language, attitudes and actions can be placed. This results in the more theoretical notion of (counter-)cosmopolitanism, whereby the decision making and agency of migrants themselves is crucial. Guided by a life history approach, this research demonstrates that migrants maintain transnational networks, hospitable relations with people who bring them further in their travels. These relations stimulate their imaginations of the places they are heading to, or willing to head to, which do not always fit reality. Migrants’ experiences are therefore directly influenced by their imaginations. The way migrants react on these hostipitality experiences can go either way: both hospitable as hostile experiences have made migrants move and stay, again stressing the importance of acknowledging the diversity of migrants’ trajectories.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen