Through the lens of exploitation: landscapes of care of identified trafficked people
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In this qualitative research project, I examine the development of landscapes of care for, and by, identified trafficked people and its implications for rebuilding a sense of place and identity. Through in-depth interviews and ethnographic data, I argue that discourse, place and identity interact to form complex landscapes within both providers and clients/patients that emerge as distinct experiences of care or non-care experiences. Each analytical chapter examines a particular production of care: a merging of psycho-legal care, the interactions of formalized informal caring relationships, and the burden of external identification in the configuration of self-identity among identified trafficked people. Building on anthropological theories of care (Giordano 2014; Mulla 2014; Stevenson 2014; Mattingly 2010), these chapters build the argument that, in contrast to humanitarian human trafficking and trauma discourse that focuses on a specific kind of trafficking experience; the complex assemblage of trafficking experience and subsequent care should be considered within what I term “structural trafficking.” Becoming identified as trafficked is beneficial for receiving specific rights and services. However, this identity can also be detrimental for rebuilding a sense of self and place, because it assumes a fixed experience that translates to fixed care packages. I examine multiple landscapes of care to better understand potentials for care by expanding identity and coordinating existing and novel systems of care.