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Accepted Paper:

The "magic" of eviction. Ethnographic reflection on home loss, precarity, and liminality between Portugal, Italy and Cape Verde  
Giacomo Pozzi (IULM University)

Paper short abstract:

Housing precarity manifests itself in the moment of eviction. Eviction is an opportunity to ethnographically assist to the magic of creation of “liminal” forms of citizenship, which experience an ontological insecurity determined by the ambiguity of their status.

Paper long abstract:

Precarity seems to be intimately connected with housing. The term “precarious”, in fact, was first used in the 17th century as a legal term to describe the situation in which a tenancy was held by a third party (Vasuvedan 2014, 14). The term describes that which is “obtained by entreaty, depending on the favour of another, hence uncertain” while its Latin etymology precarius (from prex - prayer) confirms the reference to “a state of insecurity that is not natural but constructed”. Housing precarity manifests itself in its most vivid ferocity in the moment of eviction (Pozzi 2020). Eviction thus becomes an opportunity to ethnographically observe not only the legal mechanisms of production of precarity, but also to assist - as Bourdieu would say - to the magic of creation of “liminal” forms of citizenship, which experience an ontological insecurity (Madden, Marcuse 2016) determined by the ambiguity of their status. In short, eviction represents an anthropopoeic device of invention of a liminal other: the homeless. Starting from the ethnographic analysis of evictions, observed since 2013 between Portugal, Italy and Cape Verde, it is proposed to reflect on housing precarity and social liminality as decisive factors in the differential production of citizenship, intended as a key element of a wider politics of abandonment that seems to characterize the lives of vulnerable populations.

Panel P069b
Inhabiting liminality. Housing precarity in its spatial, political and social dimensions II
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -