Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Christian
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-15T10:26:57Z
dc.date.available2016-06-15T10:26:57Z
dc.date.issued2014
dc.identifier.citationWilliams, C. (2014). Refugees and social theory: from the politics of" bare life" to refugees as political subjects. Acta Academica: Special issue: social theory, human rights and philosophy, 46(4), 117-131.en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn0587-2405 (print)
dc.identifier.issn2415-0479 (online)
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11660/3056
dc.description.abstractThis article explores theoretical literature on refugees, noting a significant distinction between an abstract body of work critiquing the politics of humanitarianism and an ethnographic literature focused on refugee subjects. As I argue, refugees should be seen not simply as “bare life” which has been removed from political life, but rather as political subjects whose subjectivities are shaped by the social environments in which they live. To illustrate this point, I draw on Liisa Malkki’s Purity and exile and my own work on exile camps administered by the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) during Namibia’s liberation struggle. Collectively, this and other ethnographic literature highlight limits to social theory which works with highly abstract notions of “the refugee” and suggests that more significant scholarly interventions are now to be made through carefully contextualised work, tracing political subjectivities, in particular refugee communities, and how these subjectivities have been abstracted.en_ZA
dc.language.isoenen_ZA
dc.publisherUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA
dc.subjectHumanitarianismen_ZA
dc.subjectRefugeesen_ZA
dc.subjectEthnographic literatureen_ZA
dc.titleRefugees and social theory: from the politics of “bare life” to refugees as political subjectsen_ZA
dc.typeArticleen_ZA
dc.description.versionPublisher's versionen_ZA
dc.rights.holderUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record