2016 • 33 • PARCOURS #03

Understanding Sub-Saharan migrant settlement in France through a capability approach : evidence from a life-event history survey

Anne Gosselin, Annabel Desgrées du Loû, Éva Lelièvre, France Lert, Rosemary Dray-Spira, Nathalie Lydié for the PARCOURS Study Group


Settlement is a key moment in migrant trajectories in a new country. Although the field of migration studies has placed great emphasis on the causes of migration and its consequences, relatively much less is known about the moment of settlement. One of the reasons for this lies in the scarcity of longitudinal data that allow for an analysis of the settlement process.

Drawing on Amartya Sen’s concept of capabilities, this study aims at understanding Sub-Saharan migrant settlement in France and its potential interaction with HIV/AIDS and chronic hepatitis B which particularly affect this population. Using the PARCOURS life-event history survey led in 2012-2013 in Paris area which collected 2468 trajectories of migrants affected or not by HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B, we analyse the dynamics and factors of obtaining a personal dwelling, a residence permit and financial autonomy.

We show that Sub-Saharan migrants take 6 to 9 years in median to obtain a minimal stability (dwelling, papers, resource) whatever their HIV or hepatitis B statuses are. They are then exposed to social difficulties during a long period. The sequence of settlement is gendered : men first access an activity whereas women first access personal dwelling. Being educated for men, and having a stable partner in France upon arrival both for men and women accelerate settlement.

Working Paper 33
Working Paper 33
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