Creating a future while waiting for a residence permit: temporary and irregular migrants in informal social infrastructures
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEuropean Journal of Social Work. 2022 10.1080/13691457.2022.2135092
In this article, we analyse how temporary and irregular migrants resist bureaucratically induced waiting for decisions on their residence permit applications in the unknown future [l’avénir] by engaging with the present. We argue that through their engagement with the present, they seek to create a future [un avenir] for themselves. Our approach challenges approaches to waiting as a passive experience. Drawing on ethnographic and qualitative research in Finland and Norway, we analyse how migrants draw on informal relationships or what we term informal social infrastructure to secure access to services and to transgress laws and policies which exclude them. We argue for an approach that considers waiting not as a pre-defined condition but as an induced temporal context within which migrants are oriented towards an unknown future. This creates spaces for action in the present through which migrants can transform the unknown future into a projected and desired future.
Under embargo until: 2023-10-19