This work of outstanding originality is a powerful account of the nature of immigration and the condition of the immigrant in our societies today. It represents the synthesis of twenty years' of research on immigration and emigration, two processes that are, by their nature, as inseparables as the two sides of a coin, yet so different in appearance that we are led to believe that one can be understood without reference to the other. By highlighting the intrinsic relationship between these two phenomena, Abdelmalek Sayad - an Algerian sociologist and close associate of Pierre Bourdieu - succeeds in providing a comprehensive and illuminating account of the nature of immigration and the lives of immigrants in the West.
Through a sensitive and profound analysis, the author reveals the reality of the displaced existence of immigrants and the harrowing contradictions that characterize it. Among these contradictions is the deep collective dishonesty through which immigration perpetuates itself, where immigrants are compelled, out of respect for themselves and the group that allowed them to leave their country of origin, to play the suffering of emigration and to encourage more of their compatriots to join them. Separated from their families, towns and homelands, and weighed down by the unshakeable guilt of this absence, immigrants are also 'absent' in their country of arrival, where they quickly become victims of exclusion and are seen simply as member of the workforce.
Students in sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, politics and geography, as well as the general reader, will find this an invaluable text.show more