Contested Control: Irregular Transit Migrants in Europe

Wyss, Anna (15 July 2014). Contested Control: Irregular Transit Migrants in Europe (Unpublished). In: XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology - Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology. Yokohama Japan. 13.07.-19.07.2014.

This presentation is about young migrants’ journeys with low chances of receiving asylum or any other type of residence in Europe. These migrants exhibit a highly complex migration pattern. First, these migrants are frequently in durable “transit” across Europe, moving back and forth between different states. Second, transit migrants must exhibit a high degree of flexibility, as they have to respond to suddenly changing conditions, such as work opportunities, rejection of asylum claims, detention or deportation. Third, transit migrants often switch between different legal statuses, such as asylum seeker, rejected asylum seeker, illegal worker or detainee. This throws them into a general state of uncertainty and psychological distress. The experience of these young adults shows a deep ambivalence between a sense of autonomy, on the one hand, and of profound hope- and powerlessness, on the other. This presentation explores the “fragmented journeys” of these migrants, by way of a multi-sited ethnographic approach and biographical interviews. It focuses on the lived experiences and the strategies of irregular migrants to find a way to reside in Europe in the context of an increasingly restrictive migration management.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Wyss, Anna


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Anna Wyss

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2014 14:16

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36


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