CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The article deals with the experience of migrant vendors at the market in Ventimiglia close to the Franco-Italian border. The market is beside the sea and offers a peculiar opportunity to observe the economic and social activities of migrants engaged in legal or illegal business and whose métier requires and deploys the resources of mobility. The authors recount five narratives of migrant experience, which are interesting both in their distinctive individuality and in the general features that emerge from them with respect to the groups to be found at markets, and show that business is also a social practice. They show that the “cohesive force of migrant experience” is transformed and reshaped through trajectories and opportunities and makes it possible to reduce the uncertainty and precariousness with which migrants are faced. Furthermore, as maintained by exchanges and encounters, this force is a significant and indeed almost indispensable resource in the pursuit of new projects of mobility. It is a social construction achieved in proximate interaction, in the course of movement and in the service of movement.

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