Navigating Through Increasing Social Inequalities in Times of Covid-19: A Research Report on Interviews with Migrants in the Middle East and Europe and Migrants and Indigenous People in South America

2021-12 | anthology. A publication of Göttingen

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​Navigating Through Increasing Social Inequalities in Times of Covid-19: ​A Research Report on Interviews with Migrants in the Middle East and Europe and Migrants and Indigenous People in South America​ ​
Bahl, E.  & Rosenthal, G. ​ (Eds.) (2021)
Göttingen: ​Centre for Global Migration Studies. DOI: 

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Bahl, Eva ; Rosenthal, Gabriele 
This account of research in times of Covid-19, carried out by a team at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Goettingen, under the supervision of Gabriele Rosenthal, is an updated version of a report published in July 2020. Since then, within the framework of ongoing empirical research in the geographical regions of West Africa, Western Europe, the Middle East and South America, members of the team and their field assistants have conducted many more online interviews (n= 102). We have now updated our description of the individuals presented, with whom we have maintained contact, and look at the ways in which their situation has changed since summer 2020. This report also includes reflections by Victoria Taboada Gómez on the research she carried out for her dissertation on the situation of indigenous peo- ple in Paraguay. The contributors to this report have all used a biographical and figu- rational approach. This means, in the tradition of Norbert Elias, making an attempt to reconstruct the collective and historical backgrounds of the interviewees, their membership of various we-groups, and the changing collective belongings and power chances in the figurations of different we-groups and groupings. A contrastive com- parison of the case studies shows that two components have played an important role in determining how the interviewees have experienced the pandemic, how they have dealt with changes in their situation, and especially to what extent their power of agency has been affected by the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, these components were significant in the lives of migrants and the indigenous population in Paraguay: on the one hand, their degree of integration in social networks or we- groups, and, on the other hand, their legal status in the country in which they are living. The analyses reveal not only that legal status is an extremely significant component but also that its effects depend on the extent to which the individual is integrated in a we-group or network.
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Centre for Global Migration Studies
Zentrum für Globale Migrationsstudien ; Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät ; Methodenzentrum Sozialwissenschaften ; Abteilung Qualitative Sozialforschung 
Global Migration Studies 
Migration; indigenous people; Covid-19 pandemic; social inequalities; biographical research; figurational sociology



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