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Deservingness: the governance of the reproductive health of non-white international migrant women in local bureaucracies of the Brazilian public health system

Grant number: 21/08060-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): October 27, 2021
Effective date (End): October 26, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Principal Investigator:Marcia Regina de Lima Silva
Grantee:Jaciane Pimentel Milanezi Reinehr
Supervisor: Aditya Bharadwaj
Host Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland  
Associated to the scholarship:19/13877-4 - Moving race and health: the health's governance of international migrants in São Paulo, BP.PD


The research project "Deservingness" is part of the ongoing postdoctoral research "Moving Race and Health" conducted at the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP) under the supervision of Professor Márcia Lima, a leading sociologist in the field of race relations. Based on reproductive health studies and the role of the State in reproductive care, the underlying question of the subproject is if and how categories in local bureaucracies of the Brazilian Unified Health System associate non-white immigrant women with stereotypes of race, class, and gender. What are the consequences for them when receiving sexual and reproductive services depending on the status ascribed? The particular interest of the project lies on the effects that bureaucratic practices have on the lives of non-white women who use the public health system for sexual and reproductive care, such as contraceptive services, prenatal care, preventive exams, family planning, childbirth assistance, postpartum care. The subproject will be hosted by the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, for the academic year 2021-2022. It will be supervised by the anthropologist Aditya Bharadwaj who has systematically contributed to the fields of reproductive health and medical anthropology. The Institute is a pivotal research center in the fields of public health, sexual and reproductive health, racial inequalities, international immigration, and research methodology in the Social Sciences. "Deservingness" will expand the analytical perspectives of the postdoctoral research regarding international immigration, racialization, gender, and access to public services in global immigrant cities such as São Paulo, the empirical case of the postdoctoral project. In addition, the BEPE project will deepen one specific objective of the postdoctoral research which is the moral categorization of government service users by way of unofficial public policy categories. From a methodological standpoint, the postdoctoral research analyzes two types of bureaucratic fragments. The first refers to organizations considered as office bureaucracies, responsible for institutionalizing public health policies for immigrants based on their relationship with social movements, such as the municipal health secretariat of the city of São Paulo. The second fragment refers to organizations defined as "guichet" bureaucracies which implement institutionalized policies from direct interaction with the users of the Unified Health System as the Primary Healthcare Centers. Thus, the research strategy has focused on analysis of documents, in-depth interviews with professionals who work in these bureaucracies, and ethnography of local care centers. "Deservingness" will be based on preliminary data collected so far, in particular, analysis of documents and interviews. The research activities at IHEID will include presentation of preliminary findings in research centers in the field of global health, immigration and gender. Furthermore, the post-doc researcher will expand the reading group "How race migrates?" to a diverse international audience. It is an international network of researchers coordinated by her and hosted by Cebrap that explores the nexuses between race and international immigration through a comparative perspective. As a result of the internship abroad, two articles to international journals and one paper to international congress will be submitted. (AU)

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