Alongside a Work of Survival

By Mira Younes, Ray Wofsy

This contribution is based on research conducted with migrant domestic workers in Beirut (Lebanon), who are subjected to an unfree labour system. It presents an analysis of melancholic processes at play for the research participants while describing the work of survival they are engaged in. Beyond the initial research context, this article reflects on the “work of survival” with regard to experiences of dehumanisation and tackles the concept’s implications for clinical practice. Indeed, this concept implies avoiding denial of the social real, while turning attention to the lively social relations and subjectifying practices that allow the making of a livable world.

  • social melancholy
  • work of survival
  • migration
  • unfree labour
  • Lebanon
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