Exploring possibilities for more-than-rational and inter-subjective care in international migration

22 September, 2018

Open lecture by Sergei Shubin, Professor of Human Geography, Swansea University, UK
Friday, 5.October, 2018; 8:50-9:50; University of Iceland, Árnagarður-201

About the lecture:
This lecture explores care in the context of recent international migration of Eastern Europeans to Scotland. It studies cross-European migration as the process developing new relations between places and times, and reorganising the emergent connections between families, changing understanding of vulnerability and dependence on others. Mobilities and settlement of Eastern Europeans are affected by the changing nature of migration so that migrants accept uncertainty, emergence and transience as an important part of their cross-border caring practices. Drawing on empirical research results from a major long-term research project, it highlights the ways in which these migrants develop different understandings and experiences of care. The paper engages with broader poststructuralist ideas to explore transnational care as a fundamental part of being human, where responsibility for being together and indebtedness to the other extend beyond the immediacy of individual experience. In so doing, it challenges place-specific (areas of care) understanding of caregiving practices and undermines the binary oppositions (autonomy/dependence, deserving/undeserving) framing the formal logic of care for many international migrants. It focuses on the emergent character of care, possibilities and potentialities for giving and receiving care in the process of international migration to develop broader sense of commitment and concern for vulnerable migrants. It concludes with the broader reflections on the possibility of complex and selfless responsibility for distant others, beyond the notion of rationality, decision and choice.