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Spaces of intersectional struggle: migrant women's urban citizenship amidst COVID-19 in South Korea

Sottini, Martina Vittoria (2024) Spaces of intersectional struggle: migrant women's urban citizenship amidst COVID-19 in South Korea. Cities, 147. ISSN 0264-2751

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.cities.2024.104826


In this paper, I argue that intersectionality can benefit the study of migrant urban citizenship and that migrants' legal status affects their potential for urban citizenships. These arguments are based on life story interviews I conducted with Mongolian labour migrant women (both documented and undocumented) living and working in Seoul during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing from this data, I first discuss the mutual relationship between COVID-19 regulations and the specific urban spaces they affected, and second, how migrant women navigated this relationship. In practice, I categorise these pandemic-driven experiences into three specific types of spaces – spaces of escape, spaces of fear, and spaces of (potential) discrimination – which I analyse through the lenses of gender, class, and racialisation. In conclusion, I call for future research on migrant urban citizenship to critically consider the role of legal status in migrants' embodied processes of urban citizenship-making and investigate how underlying structural social and power relations shape these embodied processes. Reformulating the concept of urban citizenship in a way that explicitly informs policy making and fosters migrants' embodied experiences of urban citizenship is also needed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2024 11:06
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 20:45

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