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Accepted Paper:

Popular medicine as a collective strategy. Community build and health identities in the transnational migratory context  
Muriel Lamarque (Sheffield Hallam University)

Paper short abstract:

This work analyses the self-managed medical practices, community assistance networks and grassroot structures that arise among Latin American immigrants residing in Europe, as a response to the health inequalities and administrative abandonment that grow around the notion of legal citizenship

Paper long abstract:

The large-scale phenomenon of international migration is probably one of the main topics in the current international agenda, especially in times of profound social and geopolitical transformation. The response of national health systems to this event —especially in the Global North— still represents great limitations, failing (accidentally or deliberately) to provide adequate, egalitarian and affordable access to those people who do not qualify within the legal/normative schemes of citizenship.

Faced with this panorama of inequality and administrative abandonment, migrants develop self-managed practices, community assistance networks and informal structures (both local and transnational) for the distribution of medical goods and knowledge, with the purpose of solving or palliating health problems and improving life quality. The following work aims to analyse different forms and expressions of popular medicine that arise in contexts of international displacement, specially the collective structures that take shape to compensate the absence of equitable healthcare. Based on cultural principles of cooperation and reciprocity, the value of such grassroot initiatives is not only pragmatic in terms of its ability to resolve ailments, but also represents a source of consolation and mutual support, re-establishing the feeling of social and civic belonging in the midst of experiences of uprooting.

The results presented here form part of a long-term ethnographic research on the health/disease/care-neglect processes of Latin American people living in Spain, focusing particularly on the health identities forged around the concepts of inheritance, memory and resistance.

Panel P176b
Grassroots Responses to Healthcare Crisis [MAYS Network]
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -