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Accepted Paper:

Being a good Refugee in Germany Moralization and Refugees support labor in Germany after 2015  
Khorshid Khodabakhshreshad (Georg August Universität Göttingen)

Paper short abstract:

Which moralization takes place after summer 2015 in the field of refugees support work in Germany? Moralization appeared to be one of the main motives concerning acts of activists and volunteers in the field. Moralities of both show up in different levels which I will elaborate in this panel.

Paper long abstract:

During my fieldwork, interviews, participatory observations, conversations, and conflicts in my PhD project, titled New boom of refugee support. Between Welcome Culture and Refugees Welcome. An ethnographic and genealogical investigation., I have understood that moralization is one of the main motives concerning the acts of actors within the field of refugee support work. Moralities of both, activists and volunteers, show up in different levels.

Volunteers on the one hand regard refugees to be good if they are integrated in contrast to those who are not, and themselves to be helpful and therefore good in contrast to Nazis and PeGiDa. Doing this they open othering processes which can be understood as colonial practices. Activists on the other hand distance themselves from these honorary helpers and thus moralize them in interviews and conversations as colonial perpetrators. In this point of view the activists do the meaningful things and are therefore good.

In addition, I also see my own moral level in the field. What do I do as a researcher, activist and volunteer of color? I keep asking myself, how can I discuss and write about morality in cultural anthropology? Writing about moral values of the white German volunteers puts me in a balancing act between an impossible objectivity which denies my own morality, an un-/conscious judging and the requirement to do sound cultural anthropological research.

Panel P174a
Moral Labor in Humanitarian Projects [Anthropology of Humanitarianism Network (AHN)]
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -