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Southern Countries’ Youth and The Dream Of Immigration


In Algeria the issue of youth is not the major concern of some existing work in the field of sociology, despite the weight and importance of this age group in the demographic structure of our society, and the phenomena that emerge are many. We can count in recent years a number of social phenomena that have arisen in this category, most of which are a great source of concern, such as immigration (haragas), suicide, delinquency... The main question that we propose to analyze in this publication is to examin e the sociological question of future choices of young Algerians and their vision about their own future.

Keywords: Youth, sociology, immigration, society


The youth, what do we mean by the word “youth”? is it a category of age? A simple biological transition! Or simply a social representation of the individual?! Of all the shared definitions carried about youth; that of Bourdieu is best placed to establish an explanatory approach of these problems; defining youth as being “a word which can take several directions” (Bourdieu, 1980). In this case, the need to be able to determine the symbolic notation of this category of age to dubious contours informs us on the importance to understand youth in its totality and its sociological significance. Consequently, all the theoretical and empirical work on youth shows us the importance and the interest which the sociological investigation in helping the “youth culture get to us”. Even though the youth is simply a life cycle or a social phenomenon, it remains the pillar of the development of all the nations, with all its divergences and similarities. At all events, youth remains the major topic of this century whether it is in social sciences, economic or even in political sciences. Thus, the sociology of youth permits to understand the reflection of this category and explains the processes by which a young person can adopt certain behaviours and make multiple choices. Our investigation, since it treats a phenomenon of this discipline, is devoted to the question of the future and the sources of distress of these young people and the influence of the societal environment as well as the lived social one on their future visions. This uncertainty surrounding the definition of youth increased with the weakening of the rites of passage, the lengthening of the professional transitions and the prolongation of the time of the experiments which always tends to push back the age of access to a full adult statute.

Problem Statement

Today, the question of youth occupies more and more the field of investigation of social sciences, and in particular the field of the sociological studies. However, an in advertency and a great part of negligenceabout the sociology of youth were indeed observed, and it is only in the Forties of last century that one started to speak about youth (of the life cycle en général'). In an article published in 1942, Parsons proposed one of the first sociological analyses of the “youth culture” 1. However, it is only after the events of May 1968 that one really wondered about the question of youth: it is that which will attract the intention of the sociologists with regard to this category of age which is essential with all people. Moreover, with the example of “the French sociology”, which will tackle only much later the question of the ages of the life, from the sociological point of view. In the field of youth, after work pionniers of Morin, then the warning statements of Bourdieu (1980), the object of research “life cycle” will shape only in the middle of the Eighties “(Béjin, 1983; Galland, 1984) 2. Since, multiple sociological jobs were done on the question and the challenges of this category of age “to dubious contours”. In Algeria the question of youth does not represent the great concern of some existing work in the field of sociology, that in spite of the weight and the importance of this age bracket in the demographic structure of our company, as well as the phenomena which come out from it are multiple.

One can count in these last years several social phenomena which emerged fromthis category, whose majority are a great source of concern; such as immigration (haragas), the suicide, delinquency… etc.

Research Questions

The age is regarded as a natural criterion of differentiation, because it is universal. On the other hand the feeling of the age is not spontaneous, in certain primitive companies in fact, the men cannot be in the scale of the ages and they are declared young people, adult or old, because it is starting from this point of view that one is treated like young person, adult or old man whom one In other words regards as tel., the categories of ages are a social production which varies from one country to another and one time to another (Mr. Halbwachs 1938). However, the projection in age leads automatically to different statutes and roles. The traditional approach considers that childhood and youth constitute the time of the trainings, under the control primarily of the two authorities of socialization which are the family and the school. Indeed, within the framework of the family circle that forges itself the system of provisions from which all the other experiments of the social life will be filtered, because it intervenes as of more the young age of the life at the time when the personality of the child is most malleable; It is particularly intense because as of daily contacts between children and parents; It is held in an emotional climate which makes the child particularly receptive to the new trainings. Considering that the family is explainable only in one context sociétal. To be able to understand the finalities and the missions which allot yourself, it is necessary to return automatically to its role of socialisator.

On the other hand, the school plays a significant role in the socialization of the future citizens. Thus, it also contributes, by transmitting standards and values, with the social integration of the members of the company, because, if one examines the general purposes of the school, which are: to inform, educate and train the citizen of tomorrow, one can note that this process of socialization can result quite simply in the adjustment of the institution to social waitings.

For Galland: “the sociology must show how the age is a social production which evolved during the history and which varies according to the social situations.

Purpose of the Study

This uncertainty surrounding the definition of youth increased with the weakening of the rites of passage, the lengthening of the professional transitions and the prolongation from the time of the experiments which tend to push back always later the age of access to a full adult statute” 1. Noting that Galland noted that, if the values to which the teenagers and the young people refer are not also any more distant from that of the adults; on the other hand, there exists a true cultural distance. That wants to say that the young people do not oppose to the adults anymore: they are rather indifferent to their cultural universe. Without revolt, without conflicts, they move away…

The insertion of a young person in his company can be done by the means of a work station; indeed to practice an occupation allows human integration. Thus can we speak about socialization, because by the definition, work in the “modern” company is a means of valorization and creator of social recognition and oneself-même2. For Max Weber, work is the surest proof and most obvious like source of “regeneration”, because work in the “modern” company becomes developing and developed.

What one must put at light, it is that the situation of a young person who has in his possession a diploma and qualifications like means necessary to his integration socio-professional; this situation can be regarded as less dangerous than that of another young not graduate or that of whoever not having these same means. Because not only insertion is more difficult for non the graduate, but also this one is exposed to several anomic temptations and of phenomena which can move away it from the company of with dimensions and to move away to him even the company in its choices and its practices futures from the other with dimensions.

However, which one can note it is that the values and the cultural standards of the young people are shared and even the mode of consumption of each and every one is the same one. Consequently, the proximity of the choice of the company of reference is almost similar for all young Algerian. Notwithstanding a feeling of disappointment is quite visible on behalf of these young people, resentment which is reflected negatively on their choices and their acts. What affirms this opinion, it is well the adoption by certain young people of the illegal and very dangerous methods, therefore harmful for them and their society.

The fact that a young person is in this economic situation and psychosociological him opens the passage towards deferent forms of deviance and even of social violence. Because by definition of Galland, being young people is the time of sociability and of the leisures “it is time to live in family, the time of the friends, the leisures and the loves”, however our young people put themselves in insulation and take the delinquency like ultimate leisure.

By way of consequences, to break the debate with youth leads to a repression which will do nothing but harm everyone. By way of an example the riots of the autumn 2005 in France (On this fact, the debates carried in private individual on the sociological origins of the crisis: “discrimination, urban and school segregation whose the young inhabitants of the disadvantaged districts are victims, often of immigrant origin”) this form of reaction to the feelings of repression undergone by this fringe of the youthful company or more still the crisis of 1980 as being the first crisis and demonstration which underwent Algeria of after independence, regional crisis in favour of the Berber culture leaving behind it a date celebrated symbolic system each year. Also named “strike of the portfolio “because it was chapotée and organized by young people universitaires2dépassant a simple claim of a group and answering the three conditions of a social movement of Touraine which are the Identity and that compared to the claiming group [MCB], principle of Opposition to a mode Arabist, and finally the principle of totality returning to a social project or policy which is the right to the Berber culture.

The Algerian society also knew other movements (October 88 and January 2011) during these thirty last years that we can regard as being social movements of youth testifying to a major social unrest t -pieces which does not cease touching Algerian youth head on.

The media opening of Algeria on other cultures (industrial) through the satellite dishes, without consequences. It is not shown a world better than it his beyond the seas, encourages the young Algerians with immigration whatever it is (in the regular manner or clandestinely). Now, to choose clandestinity to leave its country without the insurance of the result without being concerned about the risk to die drowned or hunger, informs us on the burning desire which motivates the young people who “this throw to water” with his risks and dangers.

These young men and women who try the crossing of the sea on a wreck, of a coast with another, separated by meadows 235km are driven by the realization of one dreamed almost impossible…. The assessment of these last years establishes by the command of the naval forces confirms this trend which goes from evil in worse. Indeed, 2008 were the most fatal year for the “harragas”. The naval forces fished out 98 lifeless bodies, that is to say a rise of 37% compared to the year 2007, year during which the coastguards had recorded 61 deaths. For the same period, several interventions were made within the framework of the fight against this plague. These operations allowed the interception of 1,327 young Algerians mainly old between 21 and 29 ans1. The choice of violence can be also observed through a young person who puts himself to force-feed drugs and alcohols until more not hesitating to attack a person, even kill it, for a mobile phone or a chain out of gold.

This violence which makes object of debate in the world of sociology must be elucidated; by the theory of the deviance (deviating behaviour) Thus can one understand the role of the company compared to this deviance and the explanation of the latter cannot be analyzed independently of that of the standards, because it is starting from non the respect of the standards that one is sanctioned. The theory of labelling (Theory Label) explains us well the role of the company like regulator, labelling is thus a form of sanction. Howard Becker (in Outsiders) lapidairement summarizes the theory of labelling and tells us that “deviating it is that to which one succeeded in sticking this label”. In other words one is deviating, when that there is not respect of the values and the standards, which one wants to show by there it is well the role of the company. In other words one speaks about social control, thus this control returns it to the whole of the conditions of socialization of the individual in the company by the regulating authorities (the religion, the public opinion, education manners, right… etc).

Research Methods

Adding that the Western companies knew economic and sociological changes during XXèmesiècle. This sociological evolution is generating problems because when there is change, there are at the same time questions which arise on the future of the company. Thus Durkheim associates, with the concept of integration, the concept of regulation: because the company must be laid out of means to enforce the rules. In short “integration is important for the individuals but social control is essential to the good performance of the company. Then one must return to the function of the company as being a total and regulating system, because as soon as there is dysfunction, the group intervenes to make it functional (T Parsons).

In the Rules of the sociological method (1895) Durkheim explain us that “the function of a social fact must always be required in the report which it supports with some social end”, and since one must explain the social one by the social one (Durkheim). Mr. A Faradji explains us in an article that “violence should be located as being a social product… (also)… violence is not a quality of the act made by only one person but rather the complex consequence of at the same time subjective and objective reasons” (Elwatan 8/25/09)

Contrary to the common direction and the speech dominating within the Algerian company, in particular in the young people, consisting in conditioning the success with immigration. The data of our investigation show us that the choice of immigration comes in second place with 14.6% of which 10.40% are of male sex against 4.30% of female sex. However, we can note that immigration depends on the matrimonial situation since 13.8% of the guarantors to this variable are unmarried. On the other hand the young grooms do not have this idea to leave the country with a rather low rate which is of 0.8%.

In conclusion, this idea to leave the country is due well aware of seeking to establish a rather stable financial situation and to carry out a material satisfaction. Work is thus source of regeneration (Mr. Weber), development and personal blooming as well as a means of recognition social. Following the example of this we can affirm that work intervenes in the design of the identity of these young people and of this fact it can even determine their future choice.


Notwithstanding, this idea to leave the country is not an idea as formal as one can it think since 35.4% only of the young people affirm that even if they have a good work in Algeria they will leave the country all the same. Against 62.1% represented by 683jeunes affirming that if they have a good work they will not leave the country.

He following table represents the answers to this question [you Think that the fact of having a good work station you will disengage of any idea to leave the country?].

Table 1 - Relationship between having a work station and the idea to leave the country
See Full Size >

In short the idea to leave the country is not as burning as one lets oneself believe and these figures answer of them even this question and 62.1% is a figure enough consolidating which one should deal with. From the comparative study of “FIP” one took a table representing the vision future of the young people of various countries of the world and one inserted the data. As in Denmark and the United States, the young Algerians seem and estimate to have the control of their future existence at a rate of 53% which answered the question favorably “think you that your future is promoter in Algeria” and 59% answered that they are sure to have a work in the future. However the answers negative are of a rate of 45.5% affirming that they will not have a work station and 38% of the young people advance that their future would not be promoter in Algeria, this can reveal us at the same time the contradictory feeling: optimist and pessimist who characterize the mental structure of young Algerian these last years. ich we collected in our investigation under the title “color of the future. That says these answers push us to explain this positivity in the future vision of the young people, by other factors such as the religion, by knowing that as a preliminary that the Algerian company is a preserving company, of which the religious effect is quite present in their daily life. The data analysis collected assure us that the religious feeling is so present in the life courantede Algerian youth, from where two points are emphasized compared to the importance that the spiritual religion and values in optimism and confidence in the future project – staff and sociétal – which animates this youth. Adding that the religion can explain the degree of interpersonal confidence partly, moreover, the feeling of integration to the direction growing or decreasing is explained, by the fall or rise of religious and political integration. The following table informs us on the omnipresent anxiety in the future thought of the young people on the project to be achieved in the ten next years.

Table 2 - Vision of young Algerian of their futures
See Full Size >

That enables us to draw up the existing report between the young person and his future ambition, thus showing a rather scheming phenomenon. 44.7% of young Algerian seem not to have any plan for the future in the ten next years. A manpower alarming of 489 people, affirming “not to know” what to consider with the future. In this empty design of the future returning to a dubious future, without goal nor project shows a negative spirit not entrepreneur thus causing a bad representativeness of the young people of their futures this is the result of process of construction of standards according to S. ERBES – SEGUIN: the flexibility of entry in the job market is not the result of the economy but the product of the reports and of the social processes of construction of new forms and standards of employment. the influence of the feeling of membership and confidence of the young people, constitutes another track of sociological research which can inform us on the level of social integration and professional of this slice of old, as it can help us to understand the nature of the bond which brings closer or moves away the young person from his company (State or nation, family) .cette sociological reading can be summarized with the analysis of the questions such as: the feeling of membership of the young people compared to the others (people), the feeling of confidence compared to the political officials and analysis of the feeling of pride compared to the history of the country of membership of these young people.

In the investigation of the FIP, Olivier Galland observed the capacity of the young people to project itself in the future and how the feeling of social integration influences on their futures and the characteristic of the young people in reality and the voluntarily optimistic or pessimistic vision, and integrity in confidence compared to the leaders of the State. From there we wondered how the young Algerians perceive to them company of membership and its political institutions?

In a direction at least explanatory, the membership of a company, populates or with an ethnic group supposes the division of common values and to have the feeling of interdependence between the group members forming a total system. Does a rather important rate of the young people affirm that they rely on their nation with a proportion of 67% of surveyed answered by “yes” the question “have you the feeling to belong to this nation?”

“This transcendent confidence understands purposes allotted to family socialization. The feeling of membership of the same reference unit with the feeling of integration which must be followed by activities that the individuals will exert within their group (activity family, professional, of consumers or and citizens) 1. Vincenzo Cicchelli explains us those qualities that the adults and the young people inculcate to the children highlights” “great correlations” between these qualities and several dimensions: importance of the individual success, definition of domestic space, degree of social integration.

The membership of society is determined by two factors: to have common values, and to develop the feeling of collective membership. This integration or feeling of membership exists only if the concept “confidence” as authorized capital exists. The construction of their identities is in keeping with the company of membership and company (S) of reference. Nevertheless, confidence in people does not explain to itself the feeling of integration, moreover the integration or the feeling of confidence is conditioned by confidence in the institutions the company of membership.”

Young Algerian states not to trust their political representatives (government of their country). A mistrust dangerously representative with 471 (42.8%) of the young people, affirming to be being wary with respect to the political officials. As 36.50% of the young people remain indifferent with regard to this institution. Subsequently as one already quoted there one can tackle the question of integration in keeping with the similarity of the values which one in general shares without mistrust nor ostracism with people.

We can explain this mistrust or this weak integration by its own historical and cultural roots related to the upheavals social, economic, and identity, generated by the history of colonial Algeria on the one hand and by the deep changes which knew the Algerian company since its independence.


Youth is an incontestably important reality, and an element of sociological research impossible to circumvent in the processes of innovation of total answers to the challenges of our country. The young people represent on the country’s level as well as on the world’s level, a true demographic force in constant t evolution. And that makes necessary the task to understand the characteristics of youth and to take into account its heterogeneity within a given society. The analysis of the social reality of Algerian youth showed us that the satisfaction of these young people with respect to their future is weak; on the other hand our study also revealed that the desire to work for these young people is extremely strong. That seems coherent with the idea according to which work is really the source of regeneration and construction of social and professional status. The job security is also a dimension which is privileged by the young people. Through our investigation, we have come to the conclusion there is an expressed idea according to which: unemployment is a threat at the same time for the society, and the feeling of confidence and membership of young Algerian screw in opinion of their society.


The author(S) declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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About this article

Published online: 01.01.2014
Pages: 32-42
Publisher: Cognitive-crcs
In: Volume 8, Issue 1
DOI: 10.15405/ejsbs.110
Online ISSN: 2301-2218
Article Type: Original Research
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