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Emotional reflexivity in contexts of migration: How the consideration of internal processes is necessary to explain agency

Author:

Yvonne Albrecht

Profesora lectora e investigadora de la Universidad Friedrich Schiller de Jena, DE
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Abstract

Current societies are configured in such a way that relations with others are less defined and social conditions are complex and often nontransparent (e.g. Holmes, 2015; Bauman, 2003). There is never-ending uncertainty over how to act and how to feel. Set rules on how to feel no longer exist (Hochschild, 1983; Neckel, 2005; Wouters, 1999). These conditions also pose a challenge in migration processes: clear demarcations and unwavering sense of belonging are often not possible “just like that” (Albrecht, 2016, p. 1). This implies challenges for the individual. To this effect, emotions become increasingly important in navigating one’s own path through uncertain conditions (Holmes, 2015). The following paper addresses how emotional reflexivity processes are relevant for individuals in these situations. As such, emotional reflexivity must be defined as a process of internal adjustment between emotional activity and emotional passivity. The result of this process is visible through a level of action which can also consist in taking no action at all (Helfferich, 2012). Therefore, the paper suggests a modified definition of the terms agency and “emotional reflexivity”. The definition of emotional reflexivity includes several aspects of Holmes’s (2015; 2010) and Burkitt’s (2012) former definitions and expands on them. Emotional reflexivity – internal adjustments of emotional activity and passivity – will be illustrated using empirical data on current processes of migration to Germany.
How to Cite: Albrecht, Y., (2018). Emotional reflexivity in contexts of migration: How the consideration of internal processes is necessary to explain agency. Digithum. (21), pp.43–53. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7238/d.v0i21.3106
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Published on 15 Jan 2018.
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