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Une communication

au Bundestag 

 Par: Pr Abdallah SAAF 
 Berlin le 20-04-15

Invité à parler au Bundestag le 20 avril 2015 de l’expérience politique marocaine, j’ai tenu les propos suivants :

« Dans le tableau global de la région, on enregistre en cette période six pays en situation de guerre interne, (on ne sait si l’on doit parler de guerre civile  ou de conflits intérieurs en raison des acteurs transversaux impliqués), sept en situation de transition avec d’importantes difficultés, une situation d’occupation (la Palestine), deux situations de vulnérabilité, cinq pays seulement semblent stables, mais le sens, la portée de la stabilité diffère d’un pays à l’autre.... Lire la suite

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Université du Développement Social

Université du Développement Social

Session d’été-Automne

« La société civile et ses nouveaux défis »






Le programme 

les intervenants

Les rapporteurs

Concept note

Formulaire d'inscription

Spécial membres



 The question of discourses and social perceptions addressed in the present paper refers particularly to those de facto operating in people’s lived realities. By discourses and social perceptions, the object of analysis, we do not refer to those resulting from governmental programmes or those forming part of the Moroccan public policy agendas. In other words, we need to distinguish between those going on in vivo and those elaborated in vitro. The study field work targeted a representative region: Béni – Mellal. The research instruments used are the interview and participatory observation (Blanchet et Gotman, 1992; Bres, 1999; Julliard, 1999; Loubet Del Bayle, 2000). The design of the study derives from linguistic and cultural anthropology (Sapir, 1967; Straus, 1987; Geertz, 1993; Hammoudi, 2000, Bennis, 2011). The discourses and social perceptions investigated are those linked to clandestine migration.




  1. 1.      Frame work


Clandestine migration is a social phenomenon omnipresent in all Moroccan regions. The particular interest in the regions of Béni-Mellal, or what can be referred to as the death triangle (Khouribga, Fkih Ben Saleh, Souk Sebt Oulad Nemma, Bni Meskin), stems from the fact that it constitutes the first source of clandestine migration with more than 50% emigrants at the national level.


The objective is to analyse and interpret the discourses related to the perceptions (Jodelet, 1989; Canut, 1998 et Bennis, 2004) and social valorizations of clandestine migration [l∂ħrig] in the region of Béni-Mellal. The hypothesis posited for the study is as follows: the perceptions of Clandestine migration are not only economically motivated and do not aim at satisfying in an exclusive way the needs of mobility and social promotion; rather, they inclusively and ambivalently inscribe in a process of ideological construction and imaginary mixing involving heroism, founding myths, social “re-valorization”, compensatory identities, and passage rites.


Concerning the analysis and interpretation approach a number of questions arise:

-          what is the nature of the perceptions emerging from the discourses?

-          Are they cognitive or purely discursive?

-          In other words, are they a more or less accurate reflection of a cognitive organization or are they simply objects of interactional constructed discourse?


We need also to question whether discourses are objectively constructed, or rather, under on-going (Authier Revuz, 1995) construction. The importance of interaction in the construction process proves very illuminating: subjects their own discourses constantly transmit, reject, and appropriate other discourses, while their own discourses develop only through and in the cultural environment of their and others’ prior experiences (Bennis, 2001 et Bulot, 2001) .


Considering cultural environment allows us to envision two different approaches to the analysis of the perceptions. In the first, the analysis tries to uncover subjects with multiple discourses who re-actualize others statements during a dialogic interaction (Gumperz, 1989 ). In the second, we study the content of the statements of the subject, considered as a full and split person, in order to determine their positioning and understand and explain their innermost beliefs/imaginaries concerning clandestine migration.


The criteria for the choice of the field of investigation were based on available administrative data concerning the population of the province of Béni-Mellal (Couvreur, 1973; Recensement Général de la Population et de l'Habitat, et Débat National sur l'Aménagement du Territoire). Fieldwork sites were decided on on the basis of the region organization into blocks, clusters, fractions, and “douars”. The choice of specific points targeted was taken following the classification of the population into Arabs, Amazighs (Berbers), Arabized , and Amazighed (Bennis, 2012). The size of the population sample was decided on in accordance with the research instrument, namely, the interview (Ghiglione et Matalone,1978; Ghiglione et Blanchet, 1991 et Kohn et Nègre, 1991) ; it approximated 400 subjects in its totality. The variables considered are age (four categories), gender, mother tongue (Arabic/Amazigh or Arabic and Amazigh), and the educational level (literate vs. illiterate). Data collection is based on the techniques of forms and synthetic tables, while their analysis is mainly thematic. (Huberman et Miles, 1991)


The study site chosen for the Arab group is Douar Oulad M’barek from the fraction Oulad M’barek, and Douar Si Mour from the fraction Zouaïr; for the Amazigh group we have Douar Aït Yahya from the fraction Aït Hbibi; for “Amazighed” Douar of Ahle Sabek from the fraction Aït Oumnissef; and for “Arabized” group we have Douar of Aït Rouadi from the fraction of Aït Rouadi. These are visualized in the following table:


Study sites









O. Yaïche


O. Si Mour


O. M’barek

O. M’barek

O. M’barek Day



El Ksiba


Aït Hbibi

Aït Yahya



El Ksiba

Foum El Anceur

Aït Oumnissef

Ahle Sabek



Kasbat Tadla


Aït Rouadi

Aït Rouadi



The interview guide was divided into four parts: heroism, social re-valorization, founding myths, identity ideals. Instructions were as the following:


a- Heroism


-          ki tayžik hadak lli ħr∂g ?(how do you find the illegal emigrant ?)

-          waš tqadri tħ∂rgi ?(can you emigrate illegally?)

-          waš ay waħ∂d y∂qd∂r y∂ħr∂g ?(can anyone emigrate illegally?)

-          ki dir ila bġiti tħ∂rgi ?(what can you do if you want to emigrate illegally?)

-          t∂mši f patera wla f kamiyu ? (do you travel by boat or track ?


b- Social re-valorization


-          waš ga3 lli ħr∂g dar labas ?(did all illegal emigrants becomes prosperous?)

-          aš diri bflus∂k ila ħr∂gti ? (how are you going to use your money gained after clandestine migration?)

-          bi m∂n ġad tžawži ?(who are you going to marry?)

-          m3a m∂n ġa tw∂lli tgalsi ?(who are the people you will be sharing your time with?)

-          ina ħdida ġadi tžibi m3ak ?(which car will you bring with you?)


c- Founding myths


-          ki tatžik ţţalyan ?(how is Italy like in your opinion?)

-          aš taygulu 3liha nnas lli ħ∂rgu ? (what do former illegal emigrants say about it?)

-          3ammr∂k ħl∂mti biha ?(have you ever dreamt of it ?)

-          šħal m∂n 3am hadi w∂nta tatf∂kri tħ∂rgi ? (how many years have you been thinking of emigrating illegally?)

-          ama ħs∂n tamši lţţalyan wla tamši lħ∂žž ?(which is better, traveling to Italy or doing pilgrimage?)


d- Identity ideals


-          ki tayžiwk l∂mġarba ?(how do you find Moroccans?)

-          ki tayžiwk lm∂llaliyin ?(how do you find the people of Beni Mellal ?)

-          ki tayžiwk ţţalyan u ţţalyaniyat ?(how do you find Italian people ?)

-          ki tayžiwk nn∂şraniyat ?(how do you find Christian / western ladies?)

-          tabġi t3ichi t∂mma dima wla tr∂ž3i lbni m∂llal?(Do you like to stay there forever or come back to Beni Mellal?)


The thematic analysis adopted in the study is a technique which establishes inter-textual links between different texts dealing with similar themes. In a sense, it ignores the individual coherence of the interview and looks for thematic coherence across interviews (Bennis, 2004). The choice of such a technique for data analysis is conforms to the conceptualization of the perceptions and social valorization as collective in nature, rather than individualistic.


Three types of problems have been encountered: problems related to (i) the personality of the informant, (ii) the impact of the researcher, and (iii) the understanding and assimilation of the interview question. These problems have put at stake the status and roles of the participants in the verbal interaction, the interview, as well as the interest and value that the interviewees have for the object and topic of study.


2. Identity ideal


The concept of ‘identity ideal’ is used here to mean identity changes desired by the individual. This desire is nurtured by a deep feeling of heroism: the image of [lħ∂rrag] the illegal emigrant” who managed to defy his/her social conditions and other natural elements (the sea, the ocean) so as to achieve his/her dreams and live fully his/her existence in a more welcoming, prosperous, beautiful, free, proper land, etc. This world vision is shared by the other members of the group (Lipiansky, 1998 and Lahire, 1998), those who have stayed in their home-country over-powered by the image of the hero coming back with loot. The main destination desired by the subjects in the study is Italy.


(1) [lli ma mšaš lţţalyan maši raž∂l] (He who hasn’t been to Italy is not a man)


The representation of the ‘lħ∂rrag’ as a hero is limited in certain cases to the migration attempt, thinking about the adventure without considering the potential tragedy.


(2)[llahuma lbħ∂r u mmažu wla lb∂rr u 3žažu] (better to run the risks of the sea, rather than staying home in idleness)


While in the past the wisdom went theopposite way preferring spendingall day under sun to working for others. Such set-off is manifest also in the form a glamorous and prosperous future.


(3): “If you invest 10 M in a business here, you will be losing too much. Travelling to Italy is my last dream, my only aim; people work there”.


The representation held by the subjects about [l∂ħrig] and [lħ∂rrag] led to a legitimating of the economy of the clandestine migration. All the family work towards the same plan of providing the amount of money required by the frontier runner, a business which has its own laws and contracts. The sum asked for varies from 80 to 120 thousand Dirhams depending on the modality of travel to the other side of the sea.

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