Photo of Dorte Thorsen

Dorte Thorsen
Lecturer in Migration and Development (Geography)
T: +44 (0)1273 678374


Dorte’s research interests revolve around African migrations and rural and urban livelihoods in West Africa. Currently, she examines notions of hope, regret and suffering among sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco and linking them with transnational family relations and strategies. This project is part of the programme ‘New Geographies of Hope and Despair. The social effects of migration management for West African migrants’, hosted at the Danish Institute for International Studies (

Since 2005, she has done ethnographic research with child and youth labour migrants from rural Burkina Faso, exploring how social and spatial mobilities shape their trajectories as well as their ideas about working life and the identity of the ‘successful migrant’ over the years. Her doctoral research examined how women assert their social and economic position in rural households in Burkina Faso.

The topical fields of her research include migrant and youth identities, child and youth employment in the informal sector, intergenerational relationships, decision-making processes, gender relations, and rural-urban linkages, food security, gendered relations of production and reproduction, life cycles and intra-household behaviour in rural areas.