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Ould Moctar, Hassan (2019) 'Urban Informality and the Boundaries of Belonging: Notes on Ethnicity, Nationality and Class in Nouakchott, Mauritania.' Movements: Journal for Critical Migration and Border Regime Studies, 4 (2). pp. 201-224.

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This article presents ethnographic commentary on the dynamics between different ethnic and national communities in Nouakchott’s informal sector. It first gives some background for this analysis by briefly reviewing the history of ethnic and national identity construction in Mauritania, focusing on how these different logics of inclusion and exclusion have informed policy and practice from the colonial era up to the present day. Ethnographic field data is then contextualised through a discussion of the role played by ›the informal‹ in Mauritania’s political economy. The analysis reveals that informality in the context of Nouakchott should simply be understood as urban social relations in practice. This analytical lens is then deployed to evaluate how the axes of nationality, ethnicity, and class play out in this setting. Nationality supersedes ethnicity as a mode of inclusion and exclusion in the informal economy. Ultimately, however, these lines of differentiation are dissolved by the overall structural position of those in the informal sector.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Mauritania, urban informality, ethnicity, nationality, migration
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
SOAS Doctoral School
ISSN: 23648732
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2019 11:55
Funders: Other

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