The Complexities of Victimhood: Insights from the Organ Trade
2015 (English)In: Somatechnics, ISSN 2044-0138, E-ISSN 2044-0146, Vol. 5, no 1, 32-51 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The aim of this paper is to explore the complexity of the concept of the victim within the context of organ trading. By examining the intricate phenomenon of organ trade, we show how prevailing notions of victimhood form the basis of concrete social practices. The empirical basis for this exploration comprises in-depth interviews conducted during fieldwork in South Africa and Kosovo. We also draw on research undertaken at various expert meetings. What our research in these locations attests to is that one-dimensional and generalised conceptualisations of victimhood are rife, and that these tend to be founded on a pre-theorised opposition between agency and victimhood. For persons who become practically and intimately involved in dealing with cases of organ trade – such as investigators and prosecutors – such conceptualisations do not hold. What is required is an understanding of victimhood that takes into account its complexity. In this paper, we explore attempts to grasp and reduce this complexity, and argue against generalised concepts of victimhood and for concepts that are sensitive to contextual and relational variations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015. Vol. 5, no 1, 32-51 p.
organ trade, victimhood, agency, ethnography, culture theory
Philosophy Ethnology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-29502DOI: 10.3366/soma.2015.0146ISI: 000358598600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-29502DiVA: diva2:902802