January 29, 2016
This month the American Ethnologist published a collection of articles about the refugee crisis in Europe, including an article by Professor Seth Holmes, the Martin Sisters Endowed Chair Assistant Professor in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health's Community Health and Human Development Division and the Graduate Program in Medical Anthropology. Seth is also the Co-Director of the MD/PhD Track in Medical Anthropology coordinated between UCSF and UC Berkeley.
The article abstracts are available on the AE website. To access the full-length article, please click here. The abstract for the article Seth authored with Heidi Casteñada, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of San Francisco, is included below.
Representing the “European refugee crisis” in Germany and beyond: Deservingness and difference, life and death
Seth Holmes and Heidi Casteñada
Migrants walk from Hungary toward Austria at the beginning of what came to be known as the March of Hope, September 4, 2015. (Courtesy of Migszol Csoport) Migrants walk from Hungary toward Austria at the beginning of what came to be known as the March of Hope, September 4, 2015. (Courtesy of Migszol Csoport) See early view articles – AE Forum: The 2015 Refugee Crisis in Europe. Representing the “European Refugee Crisis” in Germany and Beyond: Deservingness and Difference, Life and Death Seth M. Holmes and Heide Castañeda The European refugee crisis has gained worldwide attention with daily media coverage both in and outside Germany. Representations of refugees in media and political discourse in relation to Germany participate in a Gramscian “war of position” over symbols, policies, and, ultimately, social and material resources, with potentially fatal consequences. These representations shift blame from historical, political-economic structures to the displaced people themselves. They demarcate the “deserving” refugee from the “undeserving” migrant and play into fear of cultural, religious, and ethnic difference in the midst of increasing anxiety and precarity for many in Europe. Comparative perspectives suggest that anthropology can play an important role in analyzing these phenomena, highlighting sites of contestation, imagining alternatives, and working toward them.