Dr Beatriz Aragón

ISRF First Book Grant Fellow 2023-24

Dr Beatriz Aragón

ISRF First Book Grant Fellow 2023-24

Ill-timed Citizenship: public primary healthcare, Gitanos, and the (re)production of marginalization in crisis-striken institutions

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the fragilities of European health-care systems and how these disproportionately affect marginalized minorities such as Romanies. To understand why Romanies have suffered and died more than non-Romanies we urgently need to uncover the pre-existing factors that led to this inequity so as. This is precisely the work that I did in my thesis. Building on material collected during my 12-month fieldwork in 2013 and on 10 years working as a general practitioner in a Romani ghetto in the outskirts of Madrid, my thesis analysed the mechanisms through which Gitano marginalization is engineered and their discrimination enacted within healthcare facilities. Through detailed ethnographic analysis in different primary healthcare clinics, my thesis evidences how the austerity measures implemented after the financial crisis of 2008 paved the way for the health inequalities caused by the pandemic.

For the ISRF project, I intend to conduct extra fieldwork to collect new material to elucidate how the COVID-19 crisis has intersected with pre-existing inequalities and contribute to consolidate ideologies that naturalize Romani marginality and take for granted structural harm, as well as investigating the new inequalities and forms of marginalization fostered by the pandemic. The project aims to transcend the homogeneous understanding of Roma marginalization in public institutions, amongst other things through a focus on the healthcare workers ordinary practices where discrimination (and sometimes its contestation) is crafted. By doing so it contributes to the research area of racism in everyday healthcare practices. 

My project aligns with the ISRF goals by addressing an urgent issue such as health inequalities and by its transformative potential: my project not only aims to understand but also to seize the opportunities for the transformation of discriminatory practices into care practices.

Contacting Fellows

If you would like to contact any of our Fellows to discuss their ISRF-funded work, please contact Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) in the first instance, at [email protected].