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Our health and theirs: Forced migration, othering, and public health

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  • Grove, Natalie J.
  • Zwi, Anthony B.

Abstract

This paper uses 'othering' theory to explore how forced migrants are received in developed countries and considers the implications of this for public health. It identifies a variety of mechanisms by which refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants are positioned as 'the other' and are defined and treated as separate, distant and disconnected from the host communities in receiving countries. The paper examines how this process has the potential to affect health outcomes both for individuals and communities and concludes that public health must engage with and challenge this othering discourse. It argues that public health practitioners have a critical role to play in reframing thinking about health services and health policies for forced migrants, by promoting inclusion and by helping shape a narrative which integrates and values the experiences of this population.

Suggested Citation

  • Grove, Natalie J. & Zwi, Anthony B., 2006. "Our health and theirs: Forced migration, othering, and public health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 1931-1942, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:62:y:2006:i:8:p:1931-1942
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Castles, Stephen & Loughna, Sean, 2003. "Trends in Asylum Migration to Industrialized Countries: 1990-2001," WIDER Working Paper Series 031, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Tazreiter, Claudia, 2003. "Asylum-seekers as Pariahs in the Australian State: Security Against the Few," WIDER Working Paper Series 019, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Constant, Amelie F. & García-Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana & Neuman, Tzahi, 2014. "Micro and Macro Determinants of Health: Older Immigrants in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 8754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. James Smith, 2016. "Thinking beyond borders: reconceptualising migration to better meet the needs of people in transit," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(5), pages 521-522, June.
    3. Gottlieb, Nora & Filc, Dani & Davidovitch, Nadav, 2012. "Medical humanitarianism, human rights and political advocacy: The case of the Israeli Open Clinic," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 839-845.
    4. Aldrich, Rosemary & Zwi, Anthony B. & Short, Stephanie, 2007. "Advance Australia Fair: Social democratic and conservative politicians' discourses concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their health 1972-2001," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 125-137, January.
    5. Oliver Razum & Kayvan Bozorgmehr, 2015. "Disgrace at EU’s external borders," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(5), pages 515-516, July.
    6. Willen, Sarah S., 2012. "How is health-related “deservingness” reckoned? Perspectives from unauthorized im/migrants in Tel Aviv," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 812-821.
    7. Shoshana Neuman, 2014. "Are immigrants healthier than native residents?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 108-108, December.
    8. Lebrun, Lydie A., 2012. "Effects of length of stay and language proficiency on health care experiences among Immigrants in Canada and the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1062-1072.
    9. Um, Mee Young & Chi, Iris & Kim, Hee Jin & Palinkas, Lawrence A. & Kim, Jae Yop, 2015. "Correlates of depressive symptoms among North Korean refugees adapting to South Korean society: The moderating role of perceived discrimination," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 107-113.
    10. Amelie F. Constant & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Tzahi Neuman, 2018. "A “healthy immigrant effect” or a “sick immigrant effect”? Selection and policies matter," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(1), pages 103-121, January.
    11. Huschke, Susann, 2014. "Performing deservingness. Humanitarian health care provision for migrants in Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 352-359.
    12. Viruell-Fuentes, Edna A. & Miranda, Patricia Y. & Abdulrahim, Sawsan, 2012. "More than culture: Structural racism, intersectionality theory, and immigrant health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2099-2106.
    13. repec:spr:ijphth:v:62:y:2017:i:7:d:10.1007_s00038-017-1024-z is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Viruell-Fuentes, Edna A., 2007. "Beyond acculturation: Immigration, discrimination, and health research among Mexicans in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(7), pages 1524-1535, October.

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