In this seminar series the relevance and irrelevance of race is being discussed as an object and concept of research in order to explore ways to talk about race without naturalizing differences. The series goes beyond a standard definition of race, one that is allegedly relevant everywhere, and situates race in specific practices of research.
This paper examines welfare encounters between parents and youth care professionals in Amsterdam as an important site where citizenship and belonging are negotiated. We draw on two ethnographic projects that focus on Egyptian migrant parents and their interactions with the welfare state in Amsterdam, and the work of Parent and Child Team professionals in Amsterdam-North, respectively. We found that parents wondered whether they and their children were treated equally and fairly by the professional actors they encountered, and feared they were discriminated against. While Parent and Child Team professionals were reluctant to adopt the generalizing culturalized framing dominant in public discourses, few questioned their ability to provide support to families who occupied considerably different ethnoracial and socioeconomic positions. Professional practices left little space for disagreement or an acknowledgement of possible racialized aspects of their encounters with clients. Our work evidences the elusive, and for parents, haunting presence of race in these welfare encounters.
Anouk de Koning is Associate Professor in Anthropology at Leiden University (per 1 June). While she has previously conducted research in Egypt and Suriname, in the last ten years, her research has focused on negotiations and contestations of belonging in Europe through the lens of the urban landscapes and the welfare state. She leads the 'Reproducing Europe: Migrant Parenting and Contested Citizenship' project (reproducingeurope.nl), and is the author of Global Dreams: Class, Gender and Public Space in Cosmopolitan Cairo (AUC Press, 2009), and, with Rivke Jaffe, of Introducing Urban Anthropology (Routledge, 2016).
Wiebe Ruijtenberg is a PhD candidate at the department of Anthropology and Development Studies at Radboud University, moving, as of June 1, to the Anthropology Department, Leiden University. As part of the Reproducing Europe project, his research explores how Egyptian migrants parents in Amsterdam deal with the often overwhelming presence of the state in their intimate lives. Wiebe graduated from the Research Master Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam with a thesis on social life in gated communities in Cairo, Egypt.
In this seminar series the relevance and irrelevance of race is being discussed as an object and concept of research in order to explore ways to talk about race without naturalizing differences. The series goes beyond a standard definition of race, one that is allegedly relevant everywhere, and situates race in specific practices of research. In addition, the series gives room to the various different versions of race that can be found in the European context and explores when and how populations, religions, and cultures become naturalized and racialized. Scholars from different (inter)disciplinary fields (such as genetics, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, history, political sciences, science and technology studies) are invited to address the issue of race through a paper presentation. The seminar is held every six weeks at the University of Amsterdam.
Common Room Political Science (9th floor)