Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Zentrum für Transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien

Care - Migration - Gender. Ambivalent Interdependencies

International Conference
Organized by the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (ZtG) and the Institute for European Ethnology (IfEE) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
In cooperation with the Berlin Institute for Empirical Research on Integration and Migration (BIM) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin (ASH), and the Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies (ZIFG) at Technische Universität Berlin

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - Friday, February 1, 2019
at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, Senatssaal


Pfeile Program

Pfeile Registration

Pfeile Abstracts


Care, migration, and gender are interwoven in obvious and not so obvious ways. Bridget Anderson shows how the ‘dirty work’ within care is delegated to marginalized subject positions. The concept of the care chain, developed by Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, highlights the fact that care workers themselves leave behind reproductive tasks, which in turn have to be carried out by others when they migrate. Queer theorist Martin F. Manalansan questions the implicitly assumed heterosexuality of care migrants. Further research illustrates that care workers are not just victims of social structures but themselves actively make decisions – which opens up debates about agency. Following significant publications by Rajni Palriwala and Helma Lutz, questions have arisen about who has agency and the way care, migration, and gender regimes impact it. Additionally, care migration is an effect of global inequalities while simultaneously allowing for both exploitation and empowerment. The dominant narrative consists of care workers that migrate from the Global South and post-socialist societies to the Global North. But this is not the whole story: Care migration also takes place within the Global South and among post-socialist societies themselves. Moreover, the relationship between care workers and care receivers is anything but straightforward. The structures (and hierarchies) of dependence and power hinge on the respective social positions as well as the access to rights and recognition. Additionally, while migrants can also be care receivers, some care receivers may need to migrate in order to get access to care.

Our conference »Care – Migration – Gender. Ambivalent Interdependencies« offers a space to collectively investigate these interdependencies in their complexities and aims to initiate a discussion of such ambivalences. In particular we will discuss the following:

  • What forms do the interdependencies of care-migration-gender take in different places, in different fields, and with different stakeholders?
  • How are the interdependencies of care-migration-gender shaped through different incentives, interests, and representations?
  • How are the interdependencies of care-migration-gender regulated politically, legally, and socially?
  • How and with which aims and effects have care workers organized?

We invite you to join in the discussion.


The organizing team
Urmila Goel (Institute for European Ethnology at HU), Christine Bauhardt (Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institute at HU), Gabriele Jähnert (ZtG at HU), Mike Laufenberg (ZIFG at TU), Almut Peukert (Department for Social Sciences at HU), Nivedita Prasad (ASH Berlin), Sophia Schmid (BIM at HU), Julia Teschlade (Department for Social Sciences at HU), Gökçe Yurdakul (Department for Social Sciences/BIM at HU)