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Health and Illness Experience among Migrants from Turkey in Switzerland

Applicant Türkmen Saadet
Number 155617
Funding scheme Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants
Research institution Institut für Sozialanthropologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Ethnology
Start/End 01.06.2014 - 31.12.2014
Approved amount 36'903.00
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Keywords (7)

Migration; Health and Illness; Social Practices; Capital; Integration; Applied Medical Anthropology; Qualitative Research

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Health and Illness Experience among Migrants from Turkey in Switzerland
Lay summary

Wie erleben Migranten aus der Türkei ihre Gesundheit, Gesundheitsstörungen und deren sozialen Verlauf in der Schweiz war? Wie nehmen sie den Zusammenhang zwischen Migration und Gesundheit wahr? Wie wirken die neue Lebensverhältnisse auf Gesundheitskrankheitskontinuum von Migranten aus? Und welche sind die neuen gesundheitlichen Sozialpraxen, die durch Migration entstanden sind. Diese Frage bilden den Ausgangspunkt meiner Studie, die anfänglich drei weiteren Themenfelder umfasste: 1. Wahrnehmung der Gesundheit/Gesundheitsprobleme im Migrationskontext; 2. Chronifizierte Gesundheitsstörungen, deren sozialen Verlauf, Sinngebung dafür; 3. Gesundheitsrelevante soziale Praxen im Alltag, die zur Aufrechterhaltung und Wiederherstellung der Gesundheit in der Migration beitragen sollen.

Mein primäres Interesse besteht darin zu verstehen, wie die Migranten aus der Türkei ihre Gesundheit/ Gesundheitsstörungen sowie die sozialen Prozesse des Gesundheit/krankheit Kontinuums im migrationsspezifischen Kontext in Erfahrung bringen, wie sie diese verstehen und wie sie damit umgehen. Dabei setzte ich die inneren Perspektive Einzelner ins Zentrum, mit dem Ziel, um ein differenziertes Verständnis beizutragen und dadurch einen Teil des praxisorientierten Forschungsbedarfs zu decken.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 09.05.2014

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Health and Illness Experience among Migrants from Turkey in Switzerland
Lay summary

How do the migrants from Turkey experience their health/ health disorders in Switzerland? This question was the starting point of my study, which comprises three other topics: 1 Perception of health / health problems and concepts thereof; 2 Persistent chronic health problems and their social progresses; 3 Health-related social practices that contribute to the maintenance and restoring of health.

In particular, I want to understand how do migrants from Turkey experience their health/ health disorders and social patterns of health/illness processes in the migration-specific context; how do they understand and handle them. My main aim is to explore the inner perspective of individuals to contribute differentiated understanding and to cover a part of the practice-oriented medical anthropological research needs.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 09.05.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
139764 Die Gesundheits- und Krankheitserfahrung in der Migration. Am Beispiel der türkischen Arbeits- und Fluchtmigranten in der Schweiz. Eine medizinanthropologische Studie 01.02.2012 Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants
139764 Die Gesundheits- und Krankheitserfahrung in der Migration. Am Beispiel der türkischen Arbeits- und Fluchtmigranten in der Schweiz. Eine medizinanthropologische Studie 01.02.2012 Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants

Abstract

Health and Illness Experiences in the Context of Migrants from Turkey in SwitzerlandSince the 1990s, the topic of health and migration in Switzerland has gained increasing public and political attention. In this context, discussions about migrants from Turkey center on the following two issues: the self-reported poor-health status, and the over-representation of Migrants from Turkey, with the largest share of 5.8 percent (general population: 2.4 %), among the new governmental disability benefits recipients. In reviewing this phenomenon, several groups, from practitioners to politicians and legal professionals, have offered diverse and controversial explanations, such as diffuse diseases, somatisation, medicalisation, tenuous immigration status, complex migration-related processes, challenging working and living conditions in residential countries, socio-cultural barriers in healthcare and unintentional economic incentives in the distribution of governmental disability benefits. It has been argued that health status is influenced by many factors, such as negative socio-economic and socio-cultural factors as well as others, e.g. social support, networks and health related resources, which perform a crucial function in overcoming migrants’ challenging situation. My dissertation “Health and Illness Experiences in the Context of Migrants from Turkey in Switzerland” examines the initial social practices and within connected social capital in migration specific context. It focuses on identifying the key role of the various types of social capital in initial social practices and their (long-term) impacts on health. Based on my eighteen-months mix-method and multi-sited ethnographical fieldwork in German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland, it illustrates the health-related effects of the conversion and transformation processes in migration specific context. The migration specific social practices of migrants within diverse social networks differ from each other and show their effect on health accordingly. Different migration dynamics and their components, especially, various forms of social capital remarkably shape the pre-existing and potential contemporary social networks and play an important role in the everyday-life of migrants. The initial results show that migrants, who are able to transfer their social capital into other forms of capitals, maximize their chances to remain in good-health and general wellbeing and furthermore to achieve new forms of capital (e.g. obtaining a legal status, getting a job, keeping better health). However, migrants who do have limited social and cultural resources or who cannot make their social and cultural capital effectively useful in a specific context of migration face increased health risks.
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