Research Handbook on Child Migration
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Research Handbook on Child Migration

Edited by Jacqueline Bhabha, Jyothi Kanics and Daniel Senovilla Hernández

The scope and complexity of child migration have only recently emerged as a critical factors in global migration. This volume assembles for the first time a richly interdisciplinary body of work, drawing on contributions from renowned scholars, eminent practitioners and prominent civil society advocates from across the globe and from a wide range of different mobility contexts. Their invaluable pedagogical tools and research documents demonstrate the urgency and breadth of this important new aspect of international human mobility in our global age.
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Chapter 6: Desiring mobility: child migration, parental distress and constraints on the future in North Africa

Francesco Vacchiano


Starting with three emblematic stories, this chapter analyses the motivations and feelings that underlie young North African adolescents’ decisions to emigrate. Based on a 15-year-long field study carried out in Morocco and in Europe, this contribution aims to show how the ‘desire of elsewhere’ takes shape in a ‘moral periphery’ marked by a divide by ambitions and possibilities. I argue that, although young people and families are ‘global subjects’, their experience is deeply marked by a sense of lack that derives from the exposure to normative benchmarks of good life and the simultaneous exclusion from the actual means of achieving it.

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