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Julia Ros-Cuéllar, Harlan Koff, Carmen Maganda, and Edith Kauffer

April 2021 is here, one year and a month after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccines have arrived, bringing us closer to the end of this crisis, but COVID-19 is not gone; therefore, the call for action remains relevant. We want to take this opportunity to remember and embrace the emphasis that has been put on the need for joint efforts and coordinated strategies, so we can thrive together, bringing everyone on board irrespective of geographic, economic, and political differences.

Open access

Pilivet Aguiar Alayola, Christine McCoy Cador, and Lucila Zárraga Cano

English Abstract: The city of Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, is characterized by its tourism activity due to the tourist attractions it offers. The objective of this research is to determine the level of sustainability according to urban, environmental, fiscal, and tourism dimensions. The research methodology consists of results obtained from the model for measuring sustainability and quality of life for tourist cities, through secondary and primary data, and through an exploratory study on a sample of 416 inhabitants of the city of Cancun, Quintana Roo. The results show that Cancun has areas for improvement to contribute to sustainability.

Spanish Abstract: La ciudad de Cancún, Quintana Roo, México, se caracteriza por su actividad turística, debido a los atractivos turísticos que ofrece. El objetivo de esta investigación es determinar el nivel de sostenibilidad de las dimensiones urbana, ambiental, fiscal y turística. La metodología de investigación son los resultados obtenidos a partir del modelo de medición de la sostenibilidad y calidad de vida para ciudades turísticas, a través de datos secundarios y primarios, mediante un estudio exploratorio a una muestra de 416 habitantes de la ciudad de Cancún, Q. Roo. Los resultados arrojan que Cancún tiene áreas de mejora para coadyuvar a la sostenibilidad.

French Abstract: La ville de Cancun, au Quintana Roo, Mexique, se caractérise par son activité touristique, en raison des aĴ ractions qu’elle offre dans ce domaine. L’objectif de cette recherche est de déterminer le niveau de durabilité des dimensions urbaine, environnementale, fiscale et touristique. La méthodologie s’appuie sur les résultats obtenus à partir d’un modèle de mesure de la durabilité et de la qualité de vie des villes touristiques obtenu à travers des données secondaires et primaires pour une étude exploratoire d’un échantillon de 416 habitants de la ville de Cancun. Les résultats montrent que Cancun présente des domaines à améliorer pour contribuer à la durabilité.

Open access

Enacting Citizenship

A Case Study of a Syrian Refugee Protest in Germany

Lucia Volk


In June and July 2015, a group of Syrian asylum seekers and local refugee supporters organised a protest camp in Dortmund, Germany. For 53 days, about 50 protesters at a time slept under open tarps on the pavement in front of the city's main train station, demanding a quicker asylum review process and reunification with their families. This article focusses on the refugees’ interactions with different state actors on the municipal and state levels, and illustrates how the Syrian refugees were able to enact citizenship subjectivities. Through sustained and well-organised public protest, refugees claimed their place within the host community. Importantly, they became active contributors to the debate over Germany's response to the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ and proved that political activism can help promote political and legal change.

Open access


States of Displacement: Middle Eastern Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Asylum Seekers in Global Context

Lucia Volk and Marcia C. Inhorn


The plight of forcibly displaced persons may have lost the spotlight in the global news cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Middle Eastern refugee crisis has continued unabated. Nearly 80 million people have been forcibly displaced, including millions of Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Syrians, and Yemenis. In this special issue, anthropologists highlight different states of displacement – protracted, repeated and recent – amongst Middle Eastern populations that have fled to Germany, Greece, Jordan and Turkey. Amidst profound precarity, refugees manage to negotiate new geographies of displacement, re-create a sense of home, plan their reproductive futures, organise protests to claim their asylum rights, and engage in activism and solidarity. Featuring nuanced ethnographic studies, this special issue bears witness to refugees’ fortitude and resilience.

Open access

‘Life Is Tight Here’

Displacement and Desire amongst Syrian Refugee Women in Jordan

Morgen A. Chalmiers


Since the civil war began in 2011, 5.5 million Syrians have fled their home country and are now living as refugees. Building upon anthropological studies of precarity, the article draws upon 14 months of person-centered ethnographic fieldwork to examine the contextual specificities of Syrian women's protracted displacement in Jordan. By foregrounding bodily experience as described by three interlocutors during person-centered interviews, the article considers how subjectivities are reshaped under such conditions. The narratives analysed here illustrate how the precarity of displacement fosters an embodied sense of tightness, constriction and stagnation while reconfiguring temporal horizons and rendering visions of imagined futures increasingly myopic.

Open access

Min Al-Mukhayyam’ (‘From the Camp’)

Discourses of Difference and the Boundaries of Exile amongst Palestinian Refugees in Jordan

Michael Pérez


This article examines the implications of long-term encampment and exile for the meaning of Palestinian identity amongst refugees. It shows how the conditions of Palestinian camps in Jordan function as a key marker of social difference between refugees of the camps and the city. Whereas camp refugees see the hardships of camp life as conditions to be confronted, urban refugees take them as constitutive features of a socially distinct refugee. As I argue, the distinctions between camp and city refugees illustrate how the refugee category and the humanitarian camp exceed the ideology and function of humanitarianism. They demonstrate how, in protracted refugee situations, the refugee label and the historical context of the camp can become socially significant and contested features of identity.

Open access

The Obligation Is the Point

‘Refugee 2 Refugee’ Care and Solidarity in Greece

Zareena Grewal


This article examines how grassroots refugee-activists and ‘solidarians’ in Greece articulate a collectivist political vision and praxis of care through an expanding network of social obligation that upends narrow understandings of refugees’ ‘basic’ rights and moral obligations of care. The refugees draw on a wide range of universalising collectivist frames including Islamic, Anarcho-Marxist and Palestinian-liberationist frames to articulate visions of solidarity and nurture trust and mutual care amongst refugees.

Open access

Juan Alberto Gran Castro and Silvia Lizette Ramos de Robles

English Abstract: The objective of this article is to analyze the perceptions of those who live in a context of marginalization and urban poverty as to their awareness of any risks to health and well-being associated with climate change. The methodological framework for this study was qualitative and ethnographic. The main sources of information were semi-structured interviews with residents of El Colli, located in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico who are parents. We conclude that there are climate change-induced environmental regional particularities that result in unequal conditions of vulnerability and a greater occurrence of risk events for populations in marginalized and poor areas. Thus, we argue that the theoretical and methodological references that consider local knowledge are key to enabling adaptation measures aimed at social welfare.

Spanish Abstract: El objetivo de este artículo es analizar la percepción sobre riesgos a la salud y el bienestar asociados al cambio climático, a partir de las experiencias cotidianas de vivir en un contexto de marginación y pobreza urbana. La perspectiva metodológica fue de carácter cualitativo y de cohorte etnográfi co, cuya principal fuente de información fueron entrevistas semiestructuradas a los padres y madres de familia, habitantes de El Colli, ubicado en Zapopan, Jalisco, México. Concluimos que las particularidades regionales a escala local enfrentan impactos específicos asociados al cambio climático según las condiciones desiguales de vulnerabilidad entre la población y la ocurrencia de eventos riesgosos. Así, sostenemos que los referentes teórico-metodológicos que consideren el conocimiento local son clave para propiciar medidas de adaptación encaminadas al bienestar social.

French Abstract: L’objectif de cet article est d’analyser la perception des risques pour la santé et le bien-être liés au changement climatique à partir des expériences quotidiennes de vie dans un contexte de marginalisation et de pauvreté urbaine. La méthodologie adoptée s’appuie sur une cohorte qualitative et ethnographique, dont la principale source sont des entretiens semi-structurés avec des parents résidant à El Colli, situé à Zapopan, au Jalisco, Mexique. Nous concluons que le changement climatique a des répercussions spécifiques en fonction des particularités régionales à l’échelle locale, notamment des conditions inégales de vulnérabilité de la population et de la survenue d’événements à risque. Ainsi, nous soutenons que les références théoriques et méthodologiques qui prennent en compte les connaissances locales sont essentielles pour promouvoir des mesures d’adaptation visant le bien-être social.

Open access

Adolfo Lucero Álvarez, Columba Rodríguez Alviso, Oscar Frausto Martínez, José Luis Aparicio López, Alejandro Díaz Garay, and Maximino Reyes Umaña

English Abstract: The economic damage and loss of lives caused by hurricanes have motivated efforts to expand scientific research related to resilience to these natural phenomena. However, published writings are dispersed and fragmented in different fields of study. This research is aimed to identify factors that promote resilience in hurricane-impacted areas by reviewing specialized literature. The study is qualitative, based on content analysis. Twenty-seven articles published between 2006 and 2019 were reviewed. The results show that resilience has a multidisciplinary character, although there is a coincidence in defining it as a system’s ability to absorb, resist, and recover from disasters; the system is conceived as the representation of a totality made up of related elements (ecological, social, and economic, among others). A focus on physical infrastructure predominates, but a social approach begins to be distinguished. The factors that promote resilience are grouped into four categories: ecological, social, infrastructure, and mental health.

Spanish Abstract: La investigación científica sobre resiliencia ha incrementado paralelamente a los daños económicos y casualidades humanas generadas por el paso de huracanes. El objetivo de esta investigación es identificar los factores que promueven la resiliencia en áreas impactadas por huracanes, mediante la revisión de literatura especializada. El estudio es cualitativo basado en análisis de contenido de publicaciones científicas en diferentes campos de estudio. En específico, se revisaron veintisiete artículos publicados entre 2006 y 2019. La resiliencia es multidisciplinar y hay una coincidencia al definirla: la capacidad de un sistema para absorber, resistir y recuperarse de los desastres. Predomina un enfoque de infraestructura física, pero comienza a distinguirse uno social. Los factores que promueven la resiliencia se agrupan en cuatro categorías: ecológica, social, infraestructura y salud mental.

French Abstract: Les pertes en vies humaines et les dégâts économiques causés par les ouragans ont motivé la recherche scientifi que sur la résilience, définie comme la capacité d’un système à absorber, à résister et à se remettre des catastrophes. Les écrits publiés sont dispersés et fragmentés dans différents domaines d’étude. L’objectif de cette e recherche était d’identifier les facteurs favorisant la résilience dans des zones touchées par les ouragans en examinant la littérature spécialisée. L’étude est qualitative, basée sur une analyse de contenu. Vingt-sept articles publiés entre 2006 et 2009 ont été examinés. L’approche en termes d’infrastructure physique prédomine, mais une approche sociale commence à se distinguer. Les facteurs favorisant la résilience peuvent être regroupés en quatre catégories : écologique, sociale, infrastructurelle et celle de la santé mentale.

Open access

Nell Gabiam


This article focusses on Al-Nur, a community centre in Istanbul, Turkey, that caters to Syrian and Palestinian Syrian refugees. It is based on five months of fieldwork conducted in the winter and spring of 2017 in Turkey that included participant observation as a volunteer English teacher at Al-Nur. A focus on the philosophy that guides Al-Nur's functioning as a community centre as well as on the stories of displacement of some of its managers and volunteers sheds light on the importance of being able to (re)create home in exile. Such a focus also sheds light on how repeated displacement has shaped Palestinian Syrian refugees’ experiences of exile from Syria as well as their interactions with Syrian refugees.