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Volume 5, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 2040-4344
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4352



Second-hand clothes, advertised as brand new commodities, sold in street markets or small shops are a common landscape of contemporary Dakar. After the economic crisis that has stricken Europe since 2008, and the implementation of FRONTEX, international migration from Senegal to Europe has declined and newer forms of mobility and motility have emerged. The sale of second-hand clothing from China, Europe and the United States seems to be the main resource for some young men trying to access the economic and social space of migrants, and this is a popular outlet on the path to becoming an active member of society by gaining the social and economic status of grown men. The motility of their merchandise through transnational spaces bestows upon these young traders an aura of motility, which increases their merchandise value and their own social status, blending them into the reality of returning migrants. The objective of this article is to open up a discussion about the close link between second-hand clothing commerce, migration and the experience of manhood in contemporary Senegal, taking a cultural approach. The focus of this research is the ways in which young men use the cultural frameworks of migration in the selling of second-hand clothing in order to gain the resources and the social status of men. This article adds to the growing academic research that studies migration not only as a space–time movement, but also as a cultural configuration involving interactions between the structures, contexts and actions of those who move, those who stay and those who receive migrants.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): manhood; migration; mobility; motility; second-hand clothing; Senegal
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