The origins

The practice of vacations in the countryside became commonplace from the 1980s, gradually replacing hopes of resettlement. A return to origins taking place in a family setting, these summers also provide a temporary escape from the dominations and social assignments suffered in France.

The theme of vacation in the countrysidestays spent by migrantsare immigrantsare from the Maghrebare from France in their country of origin (the countryside) or by their descendantses in that of their parents, has given rise since the 1980s to a significant literary and documentary production which covers different periods and countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia). It has grown further in recent years. We can cite Good kisses from the countrysidea documentary film by Linda Bendali broadcast in June 2021 on France 5 or even The road to the countrysidea podcast by Halima Ekhatab put online in 2019 on Arte radio.

Our holidays in the countrysideby Chadia Chaibi-Loueslati

Two comic strips with similar titles have also been published: Our holidays in the countrysidetestimony by Chadia Chaibi-Loueslati who talks about her family vacation in Tunisia (Marabout editions, 2019), and Holidays in the countrysidepublished by Sociorama (2018), written by Jennifer Bidet and Singeon, and drawn from the same research as that presented more extensively in the book mentioned here.

Most of these documentaries are based, often with a nostalgic and humorous tone, on testimonies and private archives from the 1980s and 1990s and follow a few individuals or families. This is also the mode of narration adopted in the (excellent) comic strip co-written by Jennifer Bidet, centered on a few characters – Frouze, Slim, Nesrine, Sabrina – but their vacations take place in a much more recent period.

113 – Uncle of the village

An investigation into the second generation

If we find these characters in the work published in 2021 by Raisons dagir, they come into contact with a much larger number of them and above all their backgrounds, practices and points of view are put into perspective and differentiated in more depth. These two publications highlight the richness of an object which, although having given rise to numerous testimonies, has until now been little addressed by the social sciences in France. J. Bidet's book thus constitutes the first sociological work to take this theme fully as its subject, based on an investigation centered on the experience and point of view of adults of the second generation. If the theme of holidays may seem light, it proves fascinating under the gaze of the author, who has constructed an ambitious and rigorous research posture. The subtitle of the work, the dual presence of immigrant children explicitly echoes the work of sociologist Abdelmalek Sayad and in particular La double absence. The researcher is also at the crossroads of the sociology of migration and the sociology of mobility and social classes, and claims an intersectional approach granting a central place to social relations of gender and social relations of race and ethnicity. The investigation she carried out mobilized different data and methods: work on archives and documents (linked to the action of the Algerian state towards national community abroad or tourism, and migration policy andintegration of the French state), statistical exploitation of the Trajectories and Origins survey (INEDINSEE), and more centrally, a field survey. The latter combines a series of in-depth interviews carried out in France (in the Lyon region) and in Algeria (in the region of Stif, a medium-sized town located east of Algiers) with 56 adults, descendantsI have two Algerian parentsnes, nare in France (or have arrived thereare very young), and an ethnographic survey carried out in Algeria during the summers of 2009, 2010 and 2011, in the surroundings of Stif and Bjaa (a town located on the neighboring coast) partly among the same people, and based on numerous observations . Photographs taken by the author are highlighted in each chapter.

The first two chapters are based on interviews with the oldest adultsare (nes during the 1960s and 1970s) and the corpus of documents and archives, as well as a solid bibliography on Algerian immigration to France and on the holidays of the working classes. They allow us to understand how and in what forms the practice of vacations in Algeria became possible from the 1980s. The perspective of back in the country of origin was until this period maintained by the two states and remained the founder of migratory projects; Family stays in the country were then only conceivable as a preparation of children for (re)integration in Algeria. Resettlement prospects are weakening, and are brutally wiped out by the decade of civil war in the 1990s.; summer stays conceived as holidays in their own right are gradually becoming commonplace. This trivialization also makes sense with regard to the social history of leisure in working-class environments, the families of Algerian immigrant workers participating in the development of camping in France, while adolescents and young adults have access to supervised stays through city policy. and that those who have the financial and cultural resources should learn about foreign tourism. Holidays in Algeria are, from this period, diversified in their duration, their modalities and their meanings, due to the small differences social relations between parents who appear very close in France, but have more or less stable situations, and from families with varied positions in Algeria; this diversity is also due to the educational, professional and family trajectories of children who become adults.

The following chapters focus on younger men and women who were approximately between 20 and 40 years old at the time of the survey and are based on interviews and observations carried out in very diverse scenes: in Algeria within homes, during wedding celebrations , by the sea in private tourist complexes or on family beachesin various public or consumption spaces in town; but also in France in university dormitory rooms or family homes; and finally on the internet on the Facebook pages where young people Staifis And Staifas (from Stif) change their vacation memories and prepare for the next ones.

Class reports

Jennifer Bidet strives to identify common traits and principles of variation (mainly generational, gender and class) between the vacation in the countryside of his investigationses through five themes: relationships with family history and Algerian origins; forms of ethnic and racial identification and assignment between descendantsare immigratedes and Algeriannon-migratedes, experienced at consulates and the border, but also on the beach or during Ramadan practice; the challenges of building a house in Algeria, the uses and the transmission and appropriation of these goods; the practice of seaside tourism as a revealer of class relations between immigrant descendantsAlgerian middle and upper class families and families; the redefinition and negotiation of gender boundaries and norms in families, within couples and friendship groups.

Three groups thus appear throughout the work. We thus follow the vacation of a group of young people investigatinges, men and women in their twenties who have had a short secondary or post-baccalaureate education and who occupy subordinate or small management jobs. During the summers in Algeria they spend time with family but also in a private setting. young people of France who frequent restaurants, private beaches and nightclubs of the rare clubs tourist. These young adults from working classes benefit during the summer from relative ease and a symbolic revaluation with regard to their social position in France, but at the same time suffer class contempt from the Algerianno longer dowryes. Among those in their thirties and forties, some are close to the working classes while others have moved away to join the middle or even upper classes. The former favor the time spent on a daily basis with the Algerian family, but also appreciate having an autonomy which allows them to escape sometimes restrictive social norms, in particular by acquiring their own accommodation. The latter combine family holidays with cultural tourism (visit to archaeological sites, discovery of towns and regions other than those of the original family), or with holidays in seaside rentals.

evade assignments

The work also aims to show how the space-time of vacations in Algeria allows us to escape from the social assignments of gender and race suffered in France, like a woman who had her house built and invests very heavily in it with her daughters, while her husband is disinterested in it. , or a man who experiences the festive atmosphere in public spaces during the Ramadan period (which, exceptionally, takes place in summer during the three years of the survey). It is thus the exploration of plural forms of socialization which is carried out, in a double movement of trivialization and specification of the social practices of these men and women descendingAlgerian immigrantsnes, which escapes any culturalism or misrabilism.

It is a bit of a shame not to have taken into account the specificities of the survey locations: the Lyon region and the region of Stif and Bjaa (both located in Kabylia). We also know relatively little about the ways in which people were encounteredes, in France and Algeria, these surveysThey have varied profiles. On the other hand, the relationships established with them are the subject of precise and fruitful reflection: the sociologist, perceived as a woman teacher and an French non-Muslim and without immigrant ancestry, analyzes in detail attitudes towards her as well as what this position gives her access to or not, which feeds into the results on gender, class and ethno-racial relationships. In addition, thanks to the mobilization of social science work on contemporary Algeria and the survey itself, the book reveals various practices and lifestyles within Algerian society (residential, consumption or leisure) and it is also in this way that lies its great interest. It would therefore be fascinating to know the reception of this work in Algeria, in academic circles and beyond.