This chapter examines changes and constants in North Korean society since the mid-1990s, when the country faced severe famine. In particular, it investigates the rise of the informal market economy – and its subsequent impact on gender roles – and a large exodus of women to China as a consequence of the economic crisis. The chapter situates the North Korean diaspora within the context of globalization and its implications for North Korean refugees and their human rights. It further discusses human rights debates in North Korea and defector human rights activism outside North Korea.
This article investigates refugees’ labour to gain inclusion within the ‘host’ community, drawing on interviews with male Afghan former interpreters employed by Western armies. It makes an empirical contribution by centring them as active agents rather than as passive tropes in the racialised and gendered discourses of the ‘War on Terror’ and Western migration policies. It offers a synthesis between concepts from three fields: migration as translation, migrant masculinities and the battleground of conditional inclusion. By focusing on migrants’ self-translations in dialogue with translations of their bodies and stories by host-country institutions, I trace three strategies: insertion, subversion and exemption. While Afghan interpreters largely fail to be recognised as needing protection from harm, their insertion and subversion of discourses of protection based on service are more successful. Finally, they counter their interpellation as dangerous bodies with a strategy of exemption that can be momentarily successful but remains ultimately precarious.
Exploitative working conditions for migrant workers in industrial fisheries have recently drawn considerable attention among activists and scholars, often with a focus on Asian fisheries. Even so, fish work can offer a better livelihood option than migrant workers might have in their home countries. These contradictions are apparent in fisheries around the world, including those based in Europe and North America. In this paper we explore the incongruities and patterns of working conditions for migrant workers in Irish fisheries, situating how the global seafood industry relies on a racialised labour force that is devalued to produce raw materials for high-value seafood products, before turning to an analysis of a decades-long campaign to improve Ireland’s legal framework for migrant fish workers. Persistent campaign work illustrates how a multi-pronged approach, including legal strategies and actions to make the injustices in Irish fisheries more visible, is critical to provoking change, even as working conditions remain far short of most land-based sectors in that country.
In China, Confucian authoritative familism has long established the tradition of paternal grandparents caring for grandchildren. With urbanisation in progress, many older people choose to settle in cities with their children, mainly to look after their grandchildren, and are known as ‘migrant grandparents’. Through a study of this group in Shanghai, the article reveals four other roles of migrant grandparents in addition to the role of caregivers: namely, workers, leisure seekers, in-laws (qingjia) and spouses. The prioritisation of grandparents’ roles demonstrates their increasing subjectivity in self-determination, transformative social values and personal life expectations. This article argues that Chinese older adults have begun to individualise and that these practices have contributed both to the destruction of the collective single-core family model in traditional and neo-familism and the emergence of independent, dual-core familism between two generations.
This research set out to investigate displaced women’s resilience and growth relationally, including relationships between displaced women and their children and how growth might extend to those working with displaced women. A unique relational, narrative and ethnographic approach demonstrated how processes of ‘reciprocal growth’ were constructed. Moving beyond previous concepts such as vicarious post-traumatic growth and ‘reciprocal resilience’, the unique finding of the research was women’s and volunteers’ co-construction of resilience and growth interpersonally and intersubjectively. ‘Othering’ narratives were dismantled through shared story and reciprocal human relationships, which allowed for a growthful connection between intra-psychic meaning making and wider community: linking what’s ‘within’ (I) to what’s ‘between’ (we). Consciously paying attention to reciprocal growth processes has empowering connotations for displaced women, those in relationship with them and society itself.
This introductory chapter begins with a reflective, ethnographic narrative introduction to my personal experience that led me to the subject of this volume. It presents the central themes of crisis, mobility, bureaucracy and, most importantly, what I call the German integration regime. It explains the integration regime as not only a supranational bureaucratic framework of refugee controls, but also a shifting social imaginary, and influences the formulation of refugee law and the way in which such law is interpreted. The framework combines a governmentality approach (Foucault 2011) and themes from Taylor’s (2004) definition of social imaginaries. It positions the work from the historical perspective of both the Syrian civil war and the development of German migration policy. This chapter outlines the ethnographic fieldwork that began in 2015 on the Turkish border with Syria and continued until 2020 – spanning three years of ethnographic fieldwork in longitudinal participant observation, expert interviews and informal interviews in several German migration and welfare state administrations. The chapter provides an overview of this volume that follows the path refugees are expected to follow in the integration regime: beginning with asylum application processing, then language learning and accreditation or further education, and finishing with financial independence.
While introducing the case studies and the broad argument of the book, this chapter situates the intervention of the book in the international communal growing literature, explaining the approach to community, politics and justice as empirical phenomena. The introduction introduces the concept of escape as a useful way to think about a series of important questions about how the city is lived. Collective escape centres the relationship between communal growing’s urban intervention and its politics, providing insight into the way people within the urban community projects understand their action. The chapter fleshes out how thinking through escape as an ambivalent practice can move us beyond some of the arguments around politics and subject formation to appreciate communal growing as social action. It also sets out the ethnographic research that forms the methodological basis for the book’s argument.
The Introduction clarifies why issues of children and children’s rights should be considered in relation to colonization and coloniality. It explains why children’s rights are considered indispensable for improving the lives of children, but also how they must be conceptualized to be experienced by socially disadvantaged and marginalized children as meaningful and can be used by them in their own interest. In order to get a concrete idea of children’s living conditions and collective interests, the Introduction explains the concept of ‘childhoods of the Global South’ as well as the less common concepts of the ‘popular’ and ‘popular childhoods’. The book is primarily concerned with the question how identities of resistance emerge in these childhoods. As such, how to get an idea of colonization processes is also explained. The traces they have left on social relations, on the thoughts and feelings of young people, and how these can be counteracted, are discussed.
From 2015 onwards, the debates and dominant narratives about the 2015 ‘refugee crisis’ put forward by multiple intervening actors and policymakers (at EU, national and local levels) and in the media have been ahistorical misconceptions, as they have routinely represented the refugee situation and the human suffering and border violence in the Greek region as new, unforeseen, isolated events or tragic accidents – that is, as ‘crises’ – which were not consistent with existing patterns (Freek and Lindblad, 2002). These misconceptions have tended to obscure deep historical roots – the genealogy of border violence in Greece and its continuum in the present – as they see the refugee issue, border violence, suffering and border deaths in Greece and Lesvos as starting explicitly in 2015. This chapter sets out the aims and the structure of the book. It also includes a discussion on concepts, methods, positionality, power and ethics.
This chapter examines the historical, economic, social, demographic, racial, and non-cooperative relationship between the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit that led to the bankruptcy decision. There is evidence that the seeds of Detroit’s bankruptcy were planted by the actions of investors, who reduced their investments in the city and increased investment in the suburbs over a period of 60 years. This resulted in increased unemployment, the outmigration of the white middle class, a decline in property values, increased housing abandonment, and reduced tax revenue for city services. This chapter shows that although Detroit has been experiencing severe economic decline since the 1950s, State of Michigan policies on the eve of bankruptcy were more concerned about the cost of assisting the city financially and regarded the problem as being due to the city’s fiscal mismanagement. Throughout Detroit’s history, the State of Michigan has played an active role in influencing the city’s social and economic decline, its financial problems, and its ultimate bankruptcy. Instead of elected officials of Detroit or the residents of the city, it was an Emergency Manager under the direction of a Republican Governor who made the decision who decided to place the city into bankruptcy.