In urban Africa today, like elsewhere, the purported survival strategies of individuals are determined constantly by severe material constraints. The poor and the new poor are overwhelmingly new city dwellers dependent on precarious, intermittent odd jobs (petits boulots; single women with small children; young school dropouts (déscolarisés, condemned to the expediencies of the streets, illicit actions and, in many cases, delinquency; unemployed graduates (diplomés-chômeurs), without opportunities for paid employment; as well as those designated successively in the vernacular as conjoncturés, déflatés and compressés (i.e. affected by wage reductions, permanent employees downgraded to temporary contracts or casual labour, and workers who have lost their jobs through massive redundancies). These individuals can meet only the most basic needs (eating, feeding their children, paying the rent). When survival becomes an issue, long-term strategies tend to be constrained by the need to fulfil the most basic needs and daily necessities. At any rate, pursuit of this objective does not involve selective mobilization of optimized means, when those who admittedly are looking out for themselves (se cherchent), rummage about (grouillent à droite [et] à gauche), pursue small jobs in unskilled manual labour or portering, or as night watchmen (racolage pour trouver des petits contrats de manoeuvrage, de manutention ou de veilleur de nuit), search constantly for opportunities to sell items that they bought for a little bit less, inland or across the border. They may also try to establish a business or small craft shop and, during the interim, get by with difficulty thanks to sporadic aid from relatives who are also unemployed.