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Borders, Mobilities and Migrations

Perspectives from the Mediterranean, 19–21st Century


Edited By Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Virginie Baby-Collin and Sylvie Mazzella

This book explores changes in the social, economic and political processes underpinning the mechanisms for the management of human mobility and cohabitation in the Mediterranean region, while suggesting comparisons with the situation in the Americas.
It considers the public policies that introduce such mechanisms at state, region or city level, and also explores the way that populations adapt to, breach or find ways of working around these systems.
The volume also attempts to evaluate the extent to which the reactions of the populations concerned can influence such systems. Relying on a historical perspective and covering a broad period of time from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, this book questions the increasing influence of processes born out of globalization upon present readjustments of mobility and territorial configurations.
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Between Embodied Cosmopolitism and Sexual Humanitarianism. The Fractal Mobilities and Subjectivities of Migrants Working in the Sex Industry (Nick Mai)


← 174 | 175 → Between Embodied Cosmopolitism and Sexual Humanitarianism

The Fractal Mobilities and Subjectivities of Migrants Working in the Sex Industry

Nick MAI

Social interventions relating to migrants who are considered to be vulnerable and, as such, entitled to social protection are embedded in contradictory migration and human rights regimes. They are characterized by difficulties caused by the expansion and pluralization of migrations (Smith and King, 2012), humanitarian considerations relating to universal human rights and social protection at the international level (Benhabib, 2004), and restriction of these rights for migrants at the national level on the basis of their nationality and citizenship (Lochak, 2007). Increasingly, people are moving for two reasons: to escape inequalities and conflicts due to neoliberal policies (Bauman, 2002), and to pursue personally and economically rewarding lives, even at the risk of exploitation and abuse (Lindquist, 2008). Migrants’ complex experiences of vulnerability and resilience have been reductively simplified by the arrival of a de-politicized representation of the world, with its constitutive socio-cultural heterogeneity and growing economic inequality which is increasingly viewed in terms of polarization between a unified ‘humanity’ and individual victims in need of care (Ranciere, 2004; Agier, 2010: 39). Humanitarian rhetoric produces absolute victims: i.e. essentialized bare lives (Agamben, 1998) whose ‘suffering bodies’ (Fassin, 2005) become their constitutive ontological trait and are contained in specific spaces (i.e. permanent or temporary refugee camps, aid camps, shelters, etc.) through humanitarian projects. The process of verifying the credibility of the suffering of migrants...

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