Conspicuous, Yet Invisible: Migration, Whiteness and the French Residents of Ivory Coast, 1950–1985

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Department 1



This article focuses on the recent history of French residents in (post)colonial Ivory Coast. I argue that the majority of the French candidates for expatriation to the territory were not fundamentally different from other migrants, mostly Africans, who relocated to the West African country to improve their chances for a better life. Although the French have been invisible in the scholarly literature on immigration to Ivory Coast, largely due to the mystique of their whiteness, they were quite visible in the local socio-demographic landscape. The essay illustrates the benefits of a renew and robust engagement with the "statistical fact" social structures, and historical privileges of these transnational "white tribes" of Africa. More generally, it suggests that people from the Global North have consistently migrated to the Global South as both temporary migrants and long-term immigrants.



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