Ethnographies of Deservingness: Unpacking Ideologies of Distribution and Inequality | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Ethnographies of Deservingness: Unpacking Ideologies of Distribution and Inequality

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Volume 45

EASA Series

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Ethnographies of Deservingness

Unpacking Ideologies of Distribution and Inequality

Edited by Jelena Tošić and Andreas Streinzer

Afterword by James G. Carrier

436 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-599-6 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (August 2022)

ISBN  978-1-80539-754-0 $45.00/£36.00 / Pb / Not Yet Published (February 2025)

eISBN 978-1-80073-600-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Ethnographies of deservingness is timely, refreshing, and, in terms of the trend it foretells, devastating in equal measure…Ultimately, this volume cogently delivers a cohesive yet varied story of how the mandate of deservingness is embedded ever-deeper in Euro-American social fabric, shoring up existing hierarchies, maintaining existing power structures, and ensuring their continuance.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“This is an excellent collection that has a coherence that is rare in edited volumes. It makes a major contribution to social scientific understandings of inequality through its focus on categorisations of ‘deservingness’. In what I think is a brilliant move, it combines conceptual and historical analysis with a focus on three themes that are rarely brought together in a single volume, namely: social welfare, migration and personal/household debt.” • Paul Stubbs, Former Co-President of the Association for the Anthropology of Policy of the American Anthropological Association

“The book addresses the concept of deservingness from different points of view. The four main parts of the book are rich in ethnography, have a strong theoretical background and offer to the reader a panoramic view that takes into consideration the (un)deservingness as a processual and relational notion rather than a condition.” • Georgeta Stoica, Université de La Réunion


Claims around 'who deserves what and why' moralise inequality in the current global context of unprecedented wealth and its ever more selective distribution. Ethnographies of Deservingness explores this seeming paradox and the role of moralized assessments of distribution by reconnecting disparate discussions in the anthropology of migration, economic anthropology and political anthropology. This edited collection provides a novel and systematic conceptualization of Deservingness and shows how it can serve as a prime and integrative conceptual prism to ethnographically explore transforming welfare states, regimes of migration, as well as capitalist social reproduction and relations at large.

Jelena Tošić is Assistant Professor of Transcultural Studies at the University of St. Gallen and lecturer at the University of Vienna. Her current writings focus on borderlands in Southeast Europe, forced migration, citizenship and moralisations of inequality.

Andreas Streinzer is researcher in the ‘Europe’s Un/Deserving: Moralizations of Inequality in Comparative Perspective’ project at the University of St. Gallen and researcher at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main. He is co- convenor of the EASA Anthropology of Economy Network and the Regional Group Europe at the German Anthropological Association (DGSKA).

Subject: Political and Economic AnthropologyRefugee and Migration StudiesSociology


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