Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Rightlessness in an Age of Rights$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ayten Gundogdu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199370412

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199370412.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 September 2017

Expulsion from Politics and Humanity

Expulsion from Politics and Humanity

Chapter:
(p.126) 4. Expulsion from Politics and Humanity
Source:
Rightlessness in an Age of Rights
Author(s):

Ayten Gündoğdu

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199370412.003.0005

This chapter examines the long-term encampment of refugees as a fundamental condition of rightlessness amounting to an expulsion from political community and humanity. The argument rests on an engagement with Arendt’s account of vita activa (action, work, labor) in The Human Condition. For most readers, Arendt privileges action as the quintessentially human activity and denigrates labor as the least human activity. Challenging this reading, this chapter argues that each activity makes a distinctive, irreplaceable contribution to living a life that can be recognized as human in Arendt’s phenomenology. The disruption of the habitual fabric of life in refugee camps highlights the importance of labor for experiencing the elemental joy of life and cultivating a trust in the reality of life. The makeshift structure of many camps brings to view the importance of work for establishing a relatively durable dwelling place. Finally, the isolation of camps from the political community and the human world draws attention to conditions that deny to refugees the possibilities of rendering their action, especially speech, relevant. To clarify what speechlessness entails, the chapter examines lip-stitching as a contemporary form of protest and concludes with Arendt’s discussion of Aristotle and her analogy between slavery and statelessness.

Keywords:   refugee, camp, rightlessness, labor, work, action, speech, Aristotle, lip-stitching, slavery

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .