Franziska Reiffen, M.A.
Migration, Displacement, Care, Post-Migration Research
South America (Argentina)
Juniormember 13th year Gutenberg Academy
New migratory trends have not only become visible along the much-discussed South-North-migration-routes, but also in the so-called Global South. Argentina, one of many Latin American countries with a long and differentiated migration history, has since the 2000s increasingly been chosen as a destination by migrants from African and Caribbean countries. In Argentina, migrants, as well as lower middleclass Argentinians experience the effects of neoliberalism through precarization and dispossession, here conceptualized as processes of displacement. However, in situations of displacement, people also attempt to create social networks and thus (re)built socially significant places through a set of place-making practices.
My dissertation draws on ethnographic research in shopping centers in the Argentinian metropole Buenos Aires in which migrants from different countries, as well as lower middleclass Argentinians work and spend time. Hereby, I aim to analyze processes of displacement and emplacement without relying on the migrant condition as only frame of analysis. One crucial question will be how and along which categorizations people establish social relationships and care for each other, or choose not to do so, in situations of displacement. Hence, the research project aims at correcting the Eurocentric perspective that still dominates migration studies, and explores ways to use the concepts of displacement and emplacement in the field of post-migration research.
Image: Shopping Mall, downtown Buenos Aires (Foto©: Franziska Reiffen, 2017)