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Politics of Affects in 'Immigrant Integration'

Author Isabelle ALBISSER
Director of thesis Prof. Dr. Christa Binswanger
Co-director of thesis Prof. Dr. Chris Steyaert
Summary of thesis

How are policies and practices of ‘immigrant integration’ related to affects? This question lies at the core of my doctoral research. Based on the assumption that ‘integration’ as a discourse produces subjectivities and boundaries between an ‘integrated society’ and a ‘non-integrated other’, I seek to understand how affects and emotions are intertwined with the (re)production and contestation of such demarcations and hierarchies. Thus, I analyse affects and emotions and their effects in ‘immigrant integration’ in German-speaking Switzerland. I’m interested in how people with migration background experience ‘integration’ and how policies and practices of ‘integration’ are organized and negotiated. The enquiry encompasses on the one hand interactive (group-) interviews with people involved in volunteer networks. On the other hand, I follow these volunteers in their activities within integration measures in ethnographic fieldwork. Using dialogical methods and a (self)critical analysis of my own affects as a white researcher, I critically engage with the un/doing of hierarchies within research processes and beyond. This research is situated at the intersection of critical migration and integration studies, decolonial theory, gender studies, affect studies, organization studies and studies on affective citizenship. It will contribute to a better understanding of the significance of affects in the production and contestation of hegemonic discourses of integration, community building, and citizenship.

Status beginning
Administrative delay for the defence 2026-2027
URL https://opsy.unisg.ch/de/person-detail/person-id/4bde58e6-31d3-46fe-b7c4-5dcb462