PhD Position in the SNSF-funded Project
Transcultural Studies is a research Focus at the HSG School for Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) and explores contemporary cultural and social transformations, configurations and negotiations in an ethnographic, comparative and genealogical perspective. The particular focus lies on migration/mobility and cultural aspects of inequality and redistribution.
Europe's Un/Deserving: Moralizations of Inequality in Comparative Perspective (start January 1st, 2021) The project explores un/deservingness as a key and ascending mode of reshaping inequality within the contemporary transformations of European societies. Its aim is to understand un/deservingness registers in their varieties, similarities, and contrasts in three highly contested socio-economic fields, guided by the overall research question: How do claims and debates of un/deservingness play out with regards to citizenship, redistribution, and gender regimes? The project will apply a set of triangulated methods including ethnographic fieldwork, qualitative interviews, and critical discourse analysis. The fieldwork in each case will take particular contestations as the empirical entry point from which to reveal and reconstruct different configurations and genealogies of un/deservingness on different scales (municipalities, cantons, companies, biographies, etc.). The project consists of three Subprojects (Switzerland, Austria and Hungary).
The 4-year project is headed by Prof. Dr. Jelena Tosic and co-coordinated by Dr. Andreas Streinzer (PostDoc) and is based on a cooperation with Prof. Dr. Violetta Zentai (Center for Policy Studies, CEU, Budapest).
Your Duties and Responsibilities
The essential duty will be to develop, write and submit a PhD dissertation at the University of St.Gallen based on the research in the subproject “Un/deserving to “be Swiss”: Re-assessing “Schweizermachen” and dual citizenship” conducted in cooperation with Prof. Jelena Tosic and Dr. Sandra King-Savic. The subproject is a long-term ethnographic exploration of the aftermath of the revised Swiss citizenship law (2014), which came into effect on January 1st 2018. The project will explore and compare the naturalization and dual citizenship regimes in two Swiss cantons (St.Gallen and Geneva). The will assess the arena of citizenship as part of the particular and ambiguous history of the “Willensnation”, marked by: liberalism, inclusiveness and diversity; pronounced gendered and culturalising boundary-making towards (migrant) “otherness”; and specific discourses of migration and “integration”. The research will include 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Switzerland. In addition to writing her PhD-Thesis, in the post-fieldwork stage the PhD student will be expected to contribute to project outputs (conference papers, edited volume and peer-reviewed publications etc.). Apart from the fieldwork project phase, the research will be based at the University of St. Gallen (residence/work permit, office, regular project meetings, pursuit of the PhD).
The candidate holds a Master’s degree in social/cultural anthropology, ethnology, sociology, geography or other relevant discipline. She/he provides over knowledge and experience in qualitative research and ethnographic fieldwork. Prior engagement with the issues of migration and citizenship are an asset. The PhD student will be able to conduct research within the framework of the overall project and the subproject in Switzerland both independently and in team-work. The candidate is fluent in German and French. The candidate is fluent/advanced in English and will write her PhD thesis and other outputs in English. The call is open to candidates of any citizenship/nationality background.