Hometown Organising and the Multipolarisation of Migrants’ Lives
This chapter addresses volunteering in HTOs as an emergent practice that provides the possibility for activists to overcome the multipolarisation of their identity. Indeed, this involvement is to be understood within a history of migration and settlement. One observes a parallelism between the embedding of migrant groups into their host country, the mutation of the “communities of suffering” into more stratified and diverse groups on the one hand, and the surge of the first development projects on the other. The emergence of the first development initiative is not simultaneous with the first arrivals of Indians and North Africans in Europe (which happened prior to the Second World War), but rather with the consolidation of immigrant communities in their respective host settings. My intention is to show how HTOs adapted to the transformation of their context to continue producing a shared communality of belonging. Besides the traditional functions of HTOs highlighted by the existing literature, this chapter brings to the fore their capacity to incorporate social change. They do not exist in spite of change, but due to it. HTOs appear as communicational spaces in which migrants seek to reinvent their shared sense of belonging beyond their insertion into the host society and the ensuing multipolarisation of their identity.
KeywordsHost Country Development Project Host Society Village Community Moral Framework
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.