Mobility, precarity, and the activation of kinship and intimacy [ANTHROMOB] 
Valerio Simoni (The Graduate Institute, Geneva)
Nadine Fernandez (SUNY/Empire State College)
Anna Zadrożna (University of Oslo)
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Adriana Piscitelli (State University of CampinasUNICAMP)
Start time:
20 July, 2016 at 14:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This panel reconsiders the role of intimacy and kinship in the (re)configuration of mobile people's life-courses, trajectories, and livelihoods when faced with unprecedented, highly policed cross-border movements around the world, and a range of 'crisis' situations.

Long Abstract

With unprecedented, highly policed cross-border movements, and a range of 'crisis' situations, the relationship between precarity and mobility is increasingly apparent. This panel reconsiders the role of intimacy and kinship in the (re)configuration of mobile people's life-courses and livelihoods amid precarity. Precarity, an outcome of the unequal distribution of vulnerabilities, is linked to structural conditions of crisis, limited opportunities for making a living, as well as the status of mobile populations confronting different immigration regimes. While narratives of crisis have become ubiquitous, its different manifestations merit anthropological scrutiny, as do their connections with intimate and kin formations. Encouraging reflection on kinship and intimacy, their temporal dimensions, and their punctual activation in mobile people's lives, the panel highlights the roles and effects of kinship and intimacy in imagining and designing a future deemed worth living. We thus uncover the connections between the (re/des)activation of intimacies and kinship ties (e.g. with friends, lovers, family members, foreign spouses) on the one hand, and issues of status, citizenship, well-being, and livelihood on the other. When life projects and the establishment of continuity can be difficult to imagine and sustain, kin and intimate relations may provide new ways for people to manage, advance, and create meaning in their lives, bridging their past with a (still uncertain) future. On the other hand, these relations and ties can become a driving force for migration, with uncertainty as more appealing when confronted with obligations towards one's kin.

Accepted papers: