Neighbours of Passage : A Microhistory of Migrants in a Paris Tenement, 1882–1932 book cover
1st Edition

Neighbours of Passage
A Microhistory of Migrants in a Paris Tenement, 1882–1932

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ISBN 9780367862350
March 4, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
232 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The book is a sociocultural microhistory of migrants. From the 1880s to the 1930s, it traces the lives of the occupants of a housing complex located just north of the French capital, in the heart of the Plaine-Saint-Denis. Starting in the 1870s, that industrial suburb became a magnet for working-class migrants of diverse origins, from within France and abroad. The author examines how the inhabitants of that particular place identified themselves and others. The study looks at the role played, in the construction of social difference, by interpersonal contacts, institutional interactions, and migration.

The objective of the book is to carry out an original experiment: applying microhistorical methods to the history of modern migrations. Beyond its own material history, the tenement is an observation point: it was deliberately selected for its high degree of demographic diversity, which contrasts with the typical objects of the traditional, ethnicity-based scholarship on migration. The micro lens allows for the reconstruction of the itineraries, interactions, and representations of the tenement’s occupants, in both their singularity and their structural context. Through its many individual stories, the book restores a degree of complexity that is often overlooked by historical accounts at broader levels.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Setting the scene

Chapter 2: A carousel of neighbours

Chapter 3: Consequential crossings

Chapter 4: Chains of migration


Chapter 5: Positive relationships

Chapter 6: Confrontations

Chapter 7: Of states and tenants

Chapter 8: A war-torn tenement





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Fabrice Langrognet, Ph.D. (Cambridge, History, 2019), is a Leverhulme EC research fellow at the University of Oxford, an associate researcher at the Centre d’histoire sociale des mondes contemporains (University of Paris 1/CNRS) and a fellow at the Institut Convergences Migration. He specialises in migration history.