Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Abstract: As borders close and carceral states deploy protectionist and nationalistic language to justify the increasing number of ways that particular bodies are criminalized and illegalized, how do targeted populations organize and sustain resistance? Beyond the images selectively circulated in mainstream medias that depict snapshots of spontaneous and organized resistance, including protests and rallies against authoritarian regimes and police and colonial violence, this session seeks to understand the strengths, needs, and struggles of criminalized groups outside of such hyper-visible moments of resistance. We aim to develop a better understanding of how, on a day-to-day basis, groups that are differentially marginalized, criminalized, and stigmatized build and sustain communities. In particular, we are interested in the care work that is both needed and undertaken by members of criminalized communities, the ways in which this intersects with race, gender, class, and legal status, and the variable role that care plays in strategies of resistance. To do this, we take a global approach the brings together the efforts of Palestinian children and their families with those of Kurdish asylum seekers in Japan, that connects the “sharing” of Thai and Burmese youth with the care work that sustains the sex worker rights movement in Canada, and that highlights the numerous ways that states refuse to recognize the service needs of incarcerated mothers or legitimize the alternative definitions of care articulated by low income, racialized parents in the United States. Collectively, this panel engages with the myriad forms of suppression that differentially marginalized and criminalized persons experience across the globe and highlights their resistance.