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The Complexities of Victimhood : Insights from the Organ Trade

Gunnarson, Martin LU and Lundin, Susanne LU (2015) In Somatechnics 5(1).
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to explore the complexity of the concept of the victim within the context of organ trading. By examining the intricate phenomenon of organ trade, we show how prevailing notions of victimhood form the basis of concrete social practices. The empirical basis for this exploration comprises in-depth interviews conducted during fieldwork in South Africa and Kosovo. We also draw on research undertaken at various expert meetings. What our research in these locations attests to is that one-dimensional and generalised conceptualisations of victimhood are rife, and that these tend to be founded on a pre-theorised opposition between agency and victimhood. For persons who become practically and intimately involved in dealing... (More)
The aim of this paper is to explore the complexity of the concept of the victim within the context of organ trading. By examining the intricate phenomenon of organ trade, we show how prevailing notions of victimhood form the basis of concrete social practices. The empirical basis for this exploration comprises in-depth interviews conducted during fieldwork in South Africa and Kosovo. We also draw on research undertaken at various expert meetings. What our research in these locations attests to is that one-dimensional and generalised conceptualisations of victimhood are rife, and that these tend to be founded on a pre-theorised opposition between agency and victimhood. For persons who become practically and intimately involved in dealing with cases of organ trade – such as investigators and prosecutors – such conceptualisations do not hold. What is required is an understanding of victimhood that takes into account its complexity. In the paper, we explore attempts to reduce and grasp this complexity, and argue against generalised concepts of victimhood and for concepts that are sensitive to contextual and relational variations. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
in press
subject
keywords
organ trade, victimization, ethnology, criminology, identity
categories
Higher Education
in
Somatechnics
volume
5
issue
1
publisher
Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2044-0138
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
095b0c0f-c035-4767-b858-45a35f488dee (old id 4779078)
date added to LUP
2014-11-18 16:53:43
date last changed
2017-02-23 13:14:54
@article{095b0c0f-c035-4767-b858-45a35f488dee,
  abstract     = {The aim of this paper is to explore the complexity of the concept of the victim within the context of organ trading. By examining the intricate phenomenon of organ trade, we show how prevailing notions of victimhood form the basis of concrete social practices. The empirical basis for this exploration comprises in-depth interviews conducted during fieldwork in South Africa and Kosovo. We also draw on research undertaken at various expert meetings. What our research in these locations attests to is that one-dimensional and generalised conceptualisations of victimhood are rife, and that these tend to be founded on a pre-theorised opposition between agency and victimhood. For persons who become practically and intimately involved in dealing with cases of organ trade – such as investigators and prosecutors – such conceptualisations do not hold. What is required is an understanding of victimhood that takes into account its complexity. In the paper, we explore attempts to reduce and grasp this complexity, and argue against generalised concepts of victimhood and for concepts that are sensitive to contextual and relational variations.},
  author       = {Gunnarson, Martin and Lundin, Susanne},
  issn         = {2044-0138},
  keyword      = {organ trade,victimization,ethnology,criminology,identity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Edinburgh University Press},
  series       = {Somatechnics},
  title        = {The Complexities of Victimhood : Insights from the Organ Trade},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2015},
}