Online from: 2005
Subject Area: Health and Social Care
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|Title:||The care of the immigrant self: technologies of citizenship and the healthcare sector|
|Author(s):||Chiara Pussetti, (Based at CRIA/ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal), Vitor Barros, (PhD Candidate, Spanish, Brazilian and Latin American Studies, King's College London, London, UK)|
|Citation:||Chiara Pussetti, Vitor Barros, (2012) "The care of the immigrant self: technologies of citizenship and the healthcare sector", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 8 Iss: 1, pp.42 - 50|
|Keywords:||Borders, Europe, Health and medicine, Healthcare, Immigration, Risk management, Social environment, Technologies of citizenship|
|Article type:||Conceptual paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/17479891211231400 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – In the public arena, immigrants are easily recognized as “vulnerable” but also “as a risk” for the social environment. They are associated with stigmatized infectious-contagious health conditions, with deviant or disturbed behaviours, with poor education and hygiene, and with dubious morality and parental competence. This paper aims to analyse the complex array of targeted programmes designed in the last decades in Europe in order to intervene on immigrants' health practices and lifestyles.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper was designed to engage with a critical approach to the healthcare sector, rendering visible the rationale behind such programmes of intervention by focusing on the relations between the representation of immigrants' health, the symbolic and physical borders of the body and the nation, the welfare state, and the contemporary politics of care.
Findings – The paper highlights: the racialization of public health and social care policy, which have been constituting migrant populations as unsanitary citizens; the intervention of social care programmes as technologies of citizenship in order to guide these populations towards specific models of body, health, behaviour and life projects; and the paradigmatic shifts in the way healthcare is perceived and deployed, and its ethical and political implications.
Originality/value – Building on the contributions from medical anthropology, historical sociology, and governmentality studies, the paper sheds a new light on the subject by positioning the practices of healthcare on a racialized post-colonial setting of intervening on populations constituting vulnerabilities and managing risks through medical expertise.
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