2013-2014 Colloquium Series
The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
EMOTIONAL GEOGRAPHIES OF INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL TRAVEL:
Why Travel for Health?
(Professor and SNSF Mobility Postdoc, University of Zurich)
Wednesday, April 16, 10-11AM
307 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley
This event is held as part of Anthropology Seminar 250V
led by Nelson Graburn
The costs of Northern health care systems are rising, while austerity programs are
cutting state expenditures for health. Cost differentials for health services
between the Global South and North are immense. Therefore, patients and insurances
increasingly consider medical treatment somewhere unfamiliar but affordable.
Whereas the majority of the literature emphasizes rational factors and economic
aspects, some studies show that quality of services plays a crucial role, too.
Attentive care has become scarce in Northern countries but is a real need for
patients. A second emotionally crucial moment of international medical travel is
the encounter with the ‘other’, which complements the unsettledness of ill health.
This project looks beyond mere rational, economic issues and investigates on what
it entails for mobile patients to travel abroad for medical treatment.
The project is based on a performative approach that views discursive and material
practices as the central entity constituting social phenomena (Simonsen 2010).
Using Ahmed’s (2004) performative conceptualization of emotions, the project is
interested in how emotions work; e.g. emotions allow for afﬁnities between bodies.
Download an informative document outlining Professor Kaspar's project [here]