The experience of an unfinished body is particularly visible in childhood. In the name of their physical, moral and psychological inferiority, children are often ascribed to a position of otherness. Nevertheless, bodily changes are also a resource for children’s subjectification: the body is not only the locus where identities and differences are inscribed, but it also takes part in their construction. This article analyzes the way children, who live migratory situations in France and in Italy, construct, reproduce and interpret, through their bodies, the differences between themselves and the others. After a critical review of French literature on migrant children or "descendants of immigrants", we examine children’s agency in the process of ethnicization, relying on a research (ANR CORAGE), conducted in Alsace, Lorraine and Veneto (2009-2013) with children 9 to 13 years old.
Keywords: Body, childhood, international migration, agency.