This summer school explores the multiple dynamics of exclusion and inclusion that have been (and are being) produced in the context of transforming health systems and demographic shifts, for example caused by the movement of people within nation-states and across borders, from the perspective of Critical Medical Anthropology (CMA). It examines in how far these transformations have led to a ‘fine-tuning’ of marginality in relation to healthcare and experiences of well-being worldwide (Ecks and Sax 2005).
The school assumes that different population groups such as ethnic minorities, unauthorized migrants, people facing discrimination based on their gender/sexuality, people with limited economic resources, and people with chronic and/or rare diseases may face – to some extent – similar struggles: the experiences of living with insecurity and uncertainty, of being excluded or discriminated against in the healthcare system, and having difficulties accessing the treatments they consider most effective, including biomedical care as well as other forms of medicine and healing.
Furthermore, while healthcare systems and whole societies have been affected by recent transformations in unequal ways – with the healthcare sectors of countries of the global South suffering most strongly from neoliberal reforms (Gershman and Irwin 2002) – the school adopts a comparative perspective by exploring how marginalities are being (re)defined, experienced and acted upon in the internally differentiated healthcare landscapes of various settings in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Thus, the school takes account of the increasing mobility of populations that have entered healthcare systems as potential patients world-wide and that have challenged the clear-cut dichotomy between healthcare systems and illness experiences in the global North and the global South, e.g. with regard to the health status of different groups of migrants (Castañeda 2009, Fassin 2004, Ho 2003, Horton 2004, Huschke 2011).
The summer school aims at inciting a fertile and instructive discussion among all participants through the text-based discussions and the presentation of individual research papers as well as the co-lectures that will be held at the beginning of each panel and the field trip (see program). Particularly the intertwinement of critical theoretical debate with participants’ fieldwork experiences and an intense exchange with experts in the practice of healthcare provision for marginalized populations are expected to result in publications of high relevance and interest beyond an (academic) medical anthropological audience.