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The Dyad of Care and Discipline: Aiding Syrian Migrants in Turkey and Germany

Dr. Hilal Alkan

This project focuses on the intimate encounters between Syrian migrants and the members of the communities who welcome them in Turkey and Germany. It employs the theoretical tenets made available by feminist philosophers working on care and the anthropological literature on the gift to develop an understanding of these encounters and relations as mutually constituted and marked by notions of care and discipline. The intensity of these relations, entangled with larger socio-political schemes, affect migrant trajectories of life and mobility, their decisions to further migrate or stay, and finally, their senses of belonging. While the project explores these themes with ethnographic work with migrants, it also examines the imaginaries that are prevalent in the host societies in relation to migrant reception and hospitality. These imaginaries involve invocations and representations of the past not only at the discursive but also affective and visceral levels; which then feed into the embodied practices and performances of care and discipline.