Accepted Paper:

Mobility as crisis: the political economy of migration and the phenomenology of movement  


Thomas Widlok (University of Cologne)

Paper long abstract:

The need to join phenomenological and political economy approaches emerges in a variety of contexts. One of these contexts, the teaching of anthropology of mobility courses, is the starting point of this contribution. In this situation "mobility" is understood by students and by neighbouring disciplines primarily in terms of the current political economy of global migration while anthropological theory has made particular advances with regard to the phenomenology of subjective movement. In this paper I lay out some of the principle ways of understanding human agency and decision making underlying these two perspectives and I seek to outline to what extent the two can be productively merged and where they remain incompatible. The ethnographic examples considered are taken from the hunter-gatherer ethnography and from the situation of "academic nomads" in higher education (as part of what is now called the precariat).

Panel W035
Joining phenomenologies and political economies of 'the Global'