Post-colonial Algerian immigration: Putting down roots in the face of exclusion

Algerian Migrations
By Muriel Cohen

Building on my doctoral thesis, this article aims to revisit the history of post-colonial Algerian immigration by focusing on the lives and experiences of migrants, rather than the views of official organizations. Through an analysis of these migrants’ professional, family-related, and housing circumstances, the objective is to assess the social and economic integration of this population, which has been subject to distinct political and social treatment because of its colonial history. It emerges that two forms of Algerian migration have always coexisted: temporary and long-term migration. Difficulties accessing housing severely restricted the ability of Algerian families to put down roots in France but, nonetheless, those who managed to settle between 1950 and 1970 saw an overall improvement in their situation. Because they had become established, especially at a local level, attempts to repatriate Algerians in the late 1970s failed. It was, however, the economic crisis at the end of the 1970s that really jeopardized their economic and social integration.

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