Highly Skilled Algerian Women Displaced During the Black Decade: Online Networks, Transnational Belonging and Political Engagement

PhD Thesis

Guemar, Latefa Narriman 2016. Highly Skilled Algerian Women Displaced During the Black Decade: Online Networks, Transnational Belonging and Political Engagement. PhD Thesis University of East London Social Sciences https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.5871
AuthorsGuemar, Latefa Narriman
TypePhD Thesis

The contemporary era of global transformations has re-oriented academic debates on the
growth of non-nation-based solidarities and transnational cultural constructions. Despite
this, social constructionists suggest that the concept of ‘diaspora’ continues to privilege
the notion of ethnicity as the point of origin in the construction of solidarity between
migrants, overlooking the differences of social class and gender. This research
interrogates this contention by exploring the role of gender in shaping diaspora – a
complex process by which migrant women articulate new identities and give new social
and political meanings to their relationships with one another, with co-nationals living
elsewhere and with an imagined ‘homeland’. It investigates the motivation behind the
emigration of highly skilled Algerian women during the ‘Black Decade’ of the 1990s and
its aftermath, and looks at the agendas of this particular set of migrants, the extent to which
they feel they belong to a diaspora, and their attitude towards returning ‘home’. Their
political engagement takes a variety of forms, but the research reveals that certain modes
of online discourse and manifestations of a diasporic social consciousness are common to
their self-presentation. In order to investigate their networks, I used Social Networking
Websites Analysis (mainly Facebook) and a Respondent-Driven-Sampling (RDS) method
to sample and recruit participants, coupled with 15 in-depth interviews. The majority of
participants cited the amnesty law (which absolved the perpetrators of violence during the
1990s, including violence against women, of their crimes) and the rise of radical Islamist
ideology as the main barriers to considering present-day Algeria as ‘home’. Participants
appeared to exhibit both a sense of exile and a desire to be part of a diaspora.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.5871
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Publication process dates
Deposited03 May 2017
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