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Habiter un camp de travailleurs. Appropriation, usages et valeurs du dortoir en milieu contraint

Abstract : Persian Gulf economies rely on foreign workers, who make up 85 % of the total population in Qatar. Among the latter, lowly migrants live in labour camps, a form of “constrained lodging” (Bernardot, 2007) corresponding to a spatial management of migrants based on strong social and ethnic stereotypes. Migrants, most of them South Asians, thus live in the towns’ suburbs designated as industrial areas where the camps are situated. These camps are a device at the heart of Qatari migration policy. In a constrained context, where confinement above all means an impossibility to move out of the industrial areas, men manage to make home in the dormitory where ten to twelve of them live together. They “make do with” institutional constraints by using tactics and do-it-yourself solutions the weak have at their disposal (de Certeau, 1990). Migrants appropriate dormitories, the main living spaces away from work, in subtle though indispensable ways. These appropriations are like micro resistances to lack of concern about migrants’well-being and living conditions on the part of the authorities. However, the retreat into the dormitory also conveniently meets the wishes of the Qatar State to quash all political aspirations of migrants considered only as a temporary imported workforce.
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Tristan Bruslé. Habiter un camp de travailleurs. Appropriation, usages et valeurs du dortoir en milieu contraint. Annales de géographie, Armand Colin, 2015, pp.248-274. ⟨10.3917/ag.702.0248⟩. ⟨halshs-01694824⟩

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