Migration as Life in Morocco
Published by: Indiana University Press
The Outside: Migration as Life in Morocco traces how migration has come to occupy a striking place in the lives of many Moroccans. A full 10 percent of the population now lives outside the country, affecting individual and collective life in countless unanticipated ways.
In this intimate ethnography of rural Morocco, Alice Elliot considers the experience of migration from the point of view of the families and people, mostly women, who have not (yet) left. Elliot shows how the specter of migration has permeated life, from kinship relations to intimacy between spouses and to the imagination of the future.
The Outside seeks to answer the question, what is migration when it becomes the very foundation on which forms of social and individual life are built? New understandings of migration emerge through its intimate textures as Elliot shows how it has become, in some parts of the world, a distinctive condition of everyday life.
Note on Transliteration
Tempos of Life
The Outside Inside
Wives of Elsewhere
The Gender of the Crossing
Conclusion: Migration as Life
We tend to know a great deal about male migration, and far less about the women left behind. Alice Elliot examines both sides, indeed many sides, of what it means to migrate and how the process constitutes entire communities, both imaginatively and materially. It is particularly good at unearthing the paradoxes and ambiguities of what "the outside" means. It is subtle, incisive, and thought provoking.~David Crawford, editor of Encountering Morocco: Fieldwork and Cultural Understanding
This is one of the finest descriptions I have read of the complex and deep effect of emigration on a society and the intimate lives of people affected by it. Alice Elliot's systematic attention to intimate details in relation to wide political economic realities makes it especially valuable.~Samuli Schielke, author of Egypt in the Future Tense:Hope, Frustration, and Ambivalence before and after 2011
Drawing on compelling ethnographic details and robust theoretical engagements, this book provides refreshing and important insights into the study of gender, migration, imagination, temporality, subjectivity, and the meaning of the "outside." The author provides thick analysis of the multiple relationalities that shape and are shaped by the movement of individuals between different spaces and societies and reaffirms the value of ethnography in questioning simplistic assumptions about migration and in showing its multifaceted and contingent interconnectivity to life more broadly.~Farha Ghannam, author of Remaking the Modern: Space, Relocation, and the Politics of Identity in a Global Cairo and Live
Alice Elliot has managed to enter the intimate inside of a Moroccan region both drained and energized by migration to an outside that is at once real and imaginary. Observing with astute sympathy such mundane details as young women's interactions as they test cosmetics on themselves, she deploys her own positionality as a genuinely familiar outsider to shed light on an aspect of migration that, sadly, is too often left out of account: what happens to those who stay behind? How does their fate shape the outside for which they yearn? How does what happens outside change what is possible within?~Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University