Patricia MothesSandra Cadiou

From 'poor refugees' to 'good old nigger.' How press may shape unaccompanied migrants' figures


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Unaccompanied migrants (UAM) are specific migrants "who have been separated from both parents and other relatives and are not being cared for by an adult who, by law or custom, is responsible for doing so" (UNHCR, 1997, p. !). Most ofthem are male, aged between 15 and 18 years, from Western and Central Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq, Algeria and Morocco, and France is either their final goal or a long step in one ofthe hardest trips oftheir Jives. As teenagers, and because France is theoretically a country of children rights, education is a major point ofthinking about their situation. This paper therefore focuses on UAM report to schooling, education and knowledge. Report to schooling with regard to the personal migrating project is also questioned and investigated. As a first step, documentary study (from a pool of almost 400 newspaper and review articles published in 2019) is used to investigate UAM reception conditions both in Spain and France, from an administrative point ofview, but especially what concems identity building process and schooling process. We argue that this social eye on UAM shape at least partially teacher's behavior toward UAM. We also struggle on UAM 'collective identity' building process. We particularly show how, if state strategies include increasing specific arrangements for minors, it keeps being very linked to minority assessment programs. Then we use three UAM interviews to try to understand how UAM report to schooling is built up and structured, from their own point ofview. Data analysis includes quantitative and qualitative approaches.