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Rebecca Ferrari

Rebecca Ferrari
Address IRTG Diversity
University of Trier
DM 242
E-Mail ferrari@uni-trier.de


Making Sense of Spaces: Life-passages of First-Generation Algerian Women Living in Paris

(Supervisors: Michael Schönhuth, Trier / Laurence McFalls, Montréal)

My project explores the lived experiences in terms of feeling (emotions), acting (practices) and imagining of first generation maghrebian women living in Paris. More specifically, it argues that their relation to urban places is a key point to understand, in a phenomenological way, their "being-in-the-world". By exploring how different experiences are lived in contexts of displacement and migration, I investigate how the initial sensory and emotional connections between the subject and the place-world become established: experiencing new places transforms perception and increases sensitivity to our surroundings, akin to "à fleur de peau".

Immigration often refers to more than one space, the one of origin and that of arrival. However, we do not concentrate much on the places in between, those of the lived experiences. As Paris is not simply the place of arrival, migrants are not only migrants. To push this idea further, if we want to understand the experience of migration we need to understand the migrants as made by multi-layered identities, as complex human beings that act, feel, imagine. This is precisely why I refer to practices, emotions and imagination.

The project employs a first-person phenomenological perspective in order to highight the lived experiences and issues facing maghrebian migrant women, and emphasizes the practical rather than conceptual basis for making ethnographic claims.


2004 - 2006
Master in Social Sciences - E.H.E.S.S. Paris
2001 - 2004
BA in Social Anthropology - SOAS London
2000 - 2001
Introduction to Social Anthropology - University of St. Andrews

Work Experience

2009 - 2013
Chargée de T.D. Italien, Panthéon-Assas University, Paris
2007 - 2009
Doctors of the World, Mission "Sans Domicile Fixe": Voluntary Social Worker; Author of the internal paper on homeless people and tent distribution in Paris
2006 - 2007
University La Sorbonne (Paris); Participation and intervention to the seminar "Découvrir l'impossible sur la pauvreté: zones frontières et nouveaux enjeux de recherche?"


"The Everyday Experience(s) of Space: First‐generation Algerian Immigrant Women in Paris”, in: Ursula Lehmkuhl/Hans‐Jürgen Lüsebrink/Laurence McFalls (eds.): Spaces of Difference: Conflicts and Cohabitation (Münster: Waxmann), 83‐99.

Conference Presentations

In-Between: The Intangible Dimensions of Everyday Lived Experiences among First Generation Algerian Women Living in Paris
Networking Conference of the IRTGs Diversity and Entre Espacios: Liminality, Trier, 10-13/06/2015.
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