Migrating bodies in the context of health and racialisation in Germany
in Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders
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Building on various theoretical perspectives on borders and bodies this chapter contributes to the critique of racialised, hardening boundaries and processes of exclusion that occur in the context of obligations and entitlements to health and wellbeing in Europe. It presents findings from a collaborative ethnographic account from a multi-diverse neighbourhood in Bochum and its inhabitants’ access to health from the critical vantage point of that community. The research for this article was conducted by members of the City Lab Bochum and the results emerge from three years of intermittent ethnographic research the author conducted in the neighbourhood between 2015 and 2019. It shows, with Fassin, how borders as external territorial frontiers interrelate with multiple boundaries as internal social categorisations and affect migrants in the study area. An ethnographic account of a newly migrated family indicates the necessity for wider structural changes that decisively reduce or even put to an end peoples’ informal exclusion from healthcare. Moreover, this research depicts how health-related interventions for people living in precarious contexts should not be limited to the healthcare system but rather address a wider institutional landscape. Based on the findings the chapter comes up with concrete strategies to counter peoples’ uncertain futures by creating space for radical diversity.

Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders

Gender, reproduction, regulation


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