The stubborn habits of migration: self-care as endurance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores how endurance manifests itself through the non-spectacular habits of everyday life. Specifically, it examines the mundane habits of self-care and personal hygiene enacted by irregular migrants as they moved through camps, Hotspots and detention centres during the European migration ‘crisis’ in 2015-16. These ordinary routines have the capacity to disrupt the conventional frames through which we understand migration, especially crisis, emergency and Neoliberal modes of resilience. Drawing on the work of Povinelli and Berlant, this chapter understands ordinary habits as part of a wider modality of endurance that enables abandoned populations to navigate infrastructures that are not built for their thriving. This is not a romanticized account of abject migrants passively receiving humanitarian care. Rather, it reconfigures migrants as more active subjects operating through micropolitical ‘logics of adjustment’ as they navigate, experiment and improvise under conditions of duress. These adjustments do not amount to spectacular forms of protest, but they do reconfigure the domain of the ordinary in a multitude of quietly stubborn ways.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary meanings of endurance: an interdisciplinary approach
EditorsNoel B. Salazar, Jeroen Scheerder
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781003321842
ISBN (Print)9781032343846
Publication statusPublished - 09 Dec 2022


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