Accepted paper:

Being Moroccan abroad: objects and everyday practices in women's subjectification


Elsa Mescoli (Universite de Liege)

Paper short abstract:

Starting from De Certeau's analysis of everyday life [1980], my paper aims at studying how subjectification processes carry out through objects and practices in migration contexts. I'll focus on Moroccan women living in Milan's suburbs and on the ways they shape themselves through materiality.

Paper long abstract:

Objects and practices used and performed daily, play a central role in the definition of the self, and migration paths, meant both in a personal and in a collective sense, determine complex dynamics which involve them directly. Starting from De Certeau's analysis of everyday life [1980], my research focuses on Moroccan women living in Milan's suburbs, and it aims at studying how they make themselves and the place where they live, after migration, through materiality, moving in peculiar ways among what new local context (with its mass production and wished standardization of habits) and origin country (where what is perceived as "traditional" constantly meets the global dimension of goods and practices) impose. The murmuring of everyday practices and the words of the objects involved talk about women who perform and use them in ways that lead a complex reflection on the definition of a proper Moroccan "style" [Gell, 1998]: if we can say that a person is made of material objects which determine an induction of its own agency, of biographical history and of collective memory, equally we might state that these objects interlace among each other and define different manners of being Moroccan, and of being it abroad.

panel P118
Objects, domestic routines and the making of everyday life