Three stories about living without migration in Dakar: coming to terms with the contradictions of the moral economy
This article focuses on life without migration in Dakar. In a context of scarcity of opportunities and the emergence of emigrants as new models of success, many who remain are seen as unsuccessful and are under a personal or social expectation to emigrate. This paper examines the unfolding of everyday life without migration. Through ethnographic description, it points to the coexistence in the capital city of changes and continuities in the moral economy, the scarcity of income-generating opportunities for men, and women's growing financial contribution. This article suggests that, for those of an age to support their families, these transformations often mean living with contradictions. To overcome these tensions, inventive strategies of ‘demonstration’ and ‘concealment’ are deployed to fit in with the moral economy. However, living without migration in Dakar is often easier when an alternative moral economy is adhered to.